10 Feb How To Speak Quickly But Clearly
You don’t have to slow down and you don’t have to exaggerate*
* (in natural daily speech)
Let’s debunk a common myth. You don’t have to speak slowly with large exaggerated mouth movements to speak clearly. My students often tell me how their face muscles ache at the end of a session with me and it’s absolutely true! I love giving my students a facial workout and sending them home with muscle-stretching exercises to practise.
I exaggerate my lip and jaw movements a lot in my videos. Mental energy is also used up when you wrap your brain around new speech sounds. But regular daily speech isn’t like that and you really don’t have to concentrate that hard once you get good at English Pronunciation.
It can take lots of concentration and effort trying to pronounce <th> correctly every time in class! Fortunately, there’s no need to worry about this in daily life. Let me explain why…
Brain Training Facilitates Fast & Clear Speech
For most students, the central goal of English Pronunciation training is to improve the clarity of communication. I know how frustrating it can be when you are asked to repeat yourself over and over so the last thing we want to do is slow down your communication. While speaking at a steady pace is a good idea for everyone (nobody wants to be this guy), speaking slowly can be a boring way to talk. So there’s no need to slow down and focus on every little phoneme all at once.
The best way to ensure that your hard work in pronunciation class translates into your daily speech is to put your faith in the process of training your brain. When you get into a habit of regular daily practice (just 2 minutes a couple of times a day in front of your phone camera or mirror), you begin to create the vital feedback loop that will train your brain to make new speech sounds automatically. You will establish the micromovements of the tongue that English native speakers have. You won’t need to exaggerate your lip and jaw movements any more than I do when I speak quickly with my friends.
Your brain will produce and perceive English speech sounds more like a native speaker and it will become automatic for you. No need to slow your speech or tire yourself out!
Thanks to your brain training and with these micromovements at your disposal, you won’t have to speak in an exaggerated way in your daily communication and you certainly won’t have to slow down.
Breaking down Connected Speech
Whether you choose to take Skype lessons or to continue with the video course (full course available this spring!), I will teach you how to link words together. This way, you can mimic the shortcuts that native speakers take when they speak English.
From skipping sounds altogether like in the word <postman> /ˈpəʊsmən/ to mastering the full range of /t/ sounds, you’ll find yourself gliding from word to word without a second thought.
English has tons of rules when it comes to linking, joining, and changing speech sounds. All these tips and tricks will contribute to faster, clearer English and more effective communication!