How to Speak Eloquently: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Speak Eloquently: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Speak Eloquently: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Eloquence is not genetic, and it certainly can be learned by anyone, at any age. If you are concerned about the eloquence of your speech, then take the time to practice and improve not only what you say, but how you say it.


Part 1 of 2: Changing What You Say

Speak Eloquently Step 1

Step 1. Prefer a clear and succinct vocabulary

While this may not always be the case, a broad vocabulary does not necessarily mean a strong vocabulary. When it comes to eloquent sounding, less is more. A long-winded explanation is no more eloquent than a simple, clear explanation if both achieve the same goal. Don't exaggerate the words to appear smarter.

Speak Eloquently Step 2

Step 2. Use what you know

Try to learn new vocabulary whenever possible, but when speaking, stick to words you already know. One of the least eloquent things you can do is misuse a big word, or combine too many difficult words and leave your listener confused.

Speak Eloquently Step 3

Step 3. Make helpful references

When appropriate, hint at things that help explain a thought or idea so that the listener has a better sense of what you are trying to say. References to pop culture, classical literature, art, people and historical events are all extremely helpful and will provide an added air of intelligence.

Speak Eloquently Step 4

Step 4. Don't use filler words

Nothing seems less professional and eloquent than filling silences and spaces between words with filler words like "hum", "like", "so", and "that's it". Make a conscious effort not to fill your speeches with these words, and don't feel like you say anything, whatever, in every empty space. If it's helpful, think about exactly what you're going to say before you say it so you don't have to resort to these fillers.

Speak Eloquently Step 5

Step 5. Enunciate each word

You could prepare the most eloquent speech in the world, but if you can't get your own words right, your listeners will end up confused and lost. Take the time to pronounce each word of the prayer correctly, minimizing the accent if necessary. If you have problems with proper enunciation, hire a voice or speech trainer to help you pronounce the words correctly.

Speak Eloquently Step 6

Step 6. Familiarize yourself with transitions and adjectives

One of the most common problems people have when speaking is that they end up clinging to the words, leaving an awkward pause in their speech, giving the impression of being unprepared. Avoid this by familiarizing yourself with a list of well-known transitions and adjectives. If you forget what you were going to say, it won't take you long to find a synonym if you can resort to these mental lists.

  • Some common (and eloquent) transitions include: besides, on the other hand, in particular, yet and despite.
  • Common (and eloquent) adjectives will be based on the subject of your speech, but can include: splendid, disgusting, absurd, delicious, resonant, brief, pleasant, and charming.
Speak Eloquently Step 7

Step 7. Formulate your sentence in advance

To avoid tripping over your thoughts and jumping straight into speech, think about what you're going to say first. As with writing an answer, thinking ahead will give you time to formulate exactly what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. But be careful not to create some sort of script and sound fake or accidentally leave out important words.

Part 2 of 2: Changing the way you speak

Speak Eloquently Step 8

Step 1. Overcome speech and social anxieties

It will be incredibly difficult to sound eloquent if your voice trembles, if you speak too softly, or if you start to stutter. Take the necessary steps to overcome these social anxieties by visiting a speech therapist, speech therapist or therapist.

Speak Eloquently Step 9

Step 2. Stay relaxed

Similar to the aforementioned note on overcoming your anxieties, if you are tense, stressed, or appear nervous, your performance will not be eloquent. Do whatever it takes so you can relax, whether it's imagining your audience in underwear or simply remembering that the worst thing that could happen is for the audience to get bored (which really isn't so bad). Speaking should be natural, not forced, so let the words flow and don't worry too much about how you say them or what people are thinking of you.

Speak Eloquently Step 10

Step 3. Speak with confidence

Have you ever noticed how people who act with confidence automatically seem more charismatic and eloquent? When you speak confidently, you instill a sense of curiosity in your audience. Even when you don't feel that way, act confidently and your speech will come out more professional and well-spoken. Also, as you pretend to be confident, you will actually start to feel more optimistic. It's a positive situation in every way, no doubt about it.

Speak Eloquently Step 11

Step 4. Slow down your speech

Talking too fast will make even the most eloquent person seem anxious and unprepared. When you're preoccupied with saying something, it's a natural reaction to speed up the words spoken per minute to finish faster. It doesn't sound professional and makes you look stressed. Take time to slow down your speech; it's better to talk too slow than talk too fast.

Speak Eloquently Step 12

Step 5. Pay attention to the listener

Good speakers make eye contact with their audiences regularly and speak directly to individual people. This shows that they are not just talking to the air, but that they care that the audience is listening and paying attention to what they are saying. When speaking, even to a single person, make sure to make eye contact with your listener(s) regularly.

Speak Eloquently Step 13

Step 6. If necessary, use annotations

If you're preoccupied with public speaking instead of your daily conversations, don't feel guilty about having notes on hand. Organizing your thoughts and having them available for quick glances is a great way to keep your speech in order. Don't use notes as a script, but rather as a way to quickly remember the keywords and phrases you can insert into your speech so it's better understood.

Speak Eloquently Step 14

Step 7. Practice in front of a mirror

Yes, it may sound silly, but if you can watch yourself speak, you can see what needs to change. Speak in front of a mirror or use a video camera to record yourself speaking. This will help you identify what you do well while talking and what needs improvement.

Speak Eloquently Step 15

Step 8. Spend more time practicing

In addition to increasing your vocabulary and reading comprehension, reading books also introduces you to eloquent and well-speaking characters in the story. Read regularly and pay special attention to things the characters say that you find eloquent. You can mimic these speech patterns and behaviors in your own speech if you wish.


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