Friday, 29 July 2016

Rule 19: Speak well


By on 10:00
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Famous Nigerian Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st 

So what does speaking well mean?  Am I suggesting you walk around with a plumy BBC voice and say ‘hice’ instead of ‘house’ and ‘creche’ instead of ‘crash’?  Of course not.  You can keep your regional accent; that’s not the problem.  Look at why we speak – it is to communicate, to convey information – rather than how we speak. Speaking well means getting information over clearly and effectively.  It doesn’t matter how you speak, but it does matter that you speak clearly.  And speaking clearly means just that – clearly.  The things you must avoid are:

·                    Mumbling – for obvious reasons, they can’t hear or understand you.
·                    Speaking too softly or quietly – again they can’t hear you.
·                    Using Jargon – it’s unintelligible to others outside of your department or field of expertise.
·                    Any sort of speaking that identifies you with a particular group or social class – i.e. youth (trying to use the latest trendy slang or catchphrase), or politically extreme (radical anything, political correct gone mad, ecologist, vegetarian or environmentally obsessive), or too obviously belonging to any class system (too plumy, too cockney, too regional).

“Speaking well makes an impact.  If you slouch in and mumble your name, people will assume you are under-confident, ill at ease and barely human – and thus quickly forget you”

Speaking badly–using ‘less’ when you really mean ‘fewer’ – that sort of thing.  If you don’t know the difference, get an English grammar book and learn it off by heart.  Don’t use verbal mannerisms such as ‘you know’ or ‘like’.  Always finish your sentences.

There are four key words to remember to get you speaking well:
·                    Bright
·                    Clear
·                    Pleasant
·                    Simple

That’s all you need to know.  If you use these four, you won’t go wrong and people will remember what you say and be impressed by your clear, bright speaking voice.  Speaking well makes an impact.  If you slouch in and mumble your name, people will assume you are under-confident, ill at ease and barely human – and thus quickly forget you.  If you walk in confidently, say your name clearly and with confidence people will assume you know where you are going, who you are and what you want and thus remember you.  Speak simply – say directly what it is you want to say, and nothing more.
(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to write Well as a CEO” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

Rule-to-Work Series
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