Clear Speaking

Marie   Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:10 pm GMT
Hello!I am a 19 year old girl living in Florida and I hope to one day be a newscaster on the radio.I would like like tips on how I can improve my English speaking skills.I was born and raised in Florida but kinda have a hard time with the R's and L's and this is really embarrassing but sometimes I studder.I find taking my time when I speak helps out with that a lot but how can I make my voice sound clearer?Any websites or books that I can read?
Lala   Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:06 pm GMT
Don't waste your money on books. Just look around for passages with lots of r and l sounds in them and practise reading them out loud. Concentrating on clarity. Maybe get a friend or family member to listen and tell you where you can improve or tape yourself and listen to it back. It you do this often enough, making a conscious effort to pronounce your Rs and Ls and to speak slowly and clearly, you should be able to talk that way without having to concentrate soon enough.

As for stuttering, I found that if I take slightly deeper breaths, work out what I'm going to say before I say it and try not to speak too quickly then I can usually not stutter. Maybe this would work for you?

Hey and don't worry about occasionally stumbling when you talk because even newcasters make mistakes and if you can laugh it off and carry on no-one will care, or remember, that you fumbled on a word or two.
Bluey   Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:58 pm GMT
My advice is to pretend you're speaking on the radio. Do it with a friend so they can correct your mistakes. Eventually, record yourself so you can hear yourself as you would on a radio.
chien   Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:54 pm GMT
Uriel   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:45 pm GMT
I stutter occasionally, too (don't know why, it just started a few years ago). It's probably not a big deal -- it usually happens when I haven't thought out what I'm going to say. As a newscaster you'd probably be trained to anticipate the teleprompter to a certain extent, and you'd just have more practice under your belt by the time you get on the air. Remember, James Earl Jones used to stutter as a boy, and he became the voice of Darth Vader!
Jim C, York   Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:06 pm GMT
I used to help out a mate on BBC Radio York, I actualy found speaking on air easyer than talking on the phone. A good tip is to try some amature dramatics, If you imagine that you are just acting a part when you are reading the news or what ever, it could help your stutter. And the amature dramatics will help with diction and confidence in general (I used to be a nervouse wreck before I did Drama). Also try get into hospital radio its the easyest way to get decent experience.
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:11 pm GMT
It's great if you can speak clearly even if you have a strong, or fairly strong, local accent. That's the whole point of be understood by the listener, but like everything in life nothing is that clearly cut and dried. It's OK if you are chatting with your mates, and you are all familiar with the probably all speak the same way so no matter how fast you speak they'll ken your meaning.

If you listen to some of those really old English English films, out of the dim and distant, their ever so crystal like clearly enunciated vowels and clearly defined consonants sound really funny to us. The acting profession has to speak clearly as a matter of course but those in the old films or on the stage were taught those excruciating tones as part of their drama school training, and were also taught the skill of voice projection so that every syllable was heard even by those in the back seats (who may well have been snogging anyway in which case it wouldnae matter so much). They don't have to worry too much about voice projection now as they all have body mikes.

Channel 4 TV (UK) is currently doing a series about physical disabilities of all kinds, and last night 03/04 the very first episode, as it happened, was called: "Help me to Speak": Stammering. A sensitive documentary focussing on children with speech difficulties. Filmed over the course of a year, the first episode charts the progress of three young people with very severe stammers as they attempt to overcome their debilitating condition. Speech defects are more of a male problem and in the UK eight out of ten people / children with severe stammers (or stutters) are male.
Uriel   Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:27 pm GMT
Severe stutters are actually caused by defective "wiring" in the speech centers of the brain, and it takes a lot of therapy to sort them out. Be glad if you have just a minor occasional one!
Jim C, York   Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:57 pm GMT
Yeah Damian I saw that Documentry. Which is why I suggested Amature Dramatics. There was a young lad on the programme with the worst stutter. He wants to become an actor but the Job shop told him he wouldnt get onto a course, he did anyway, and at the end of the programme he was fantastic in the play.