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Learn About Our Individual Speech, Accent and Voice Sessions
Individual sessions will focus on ear training; you will learn to hear the difference between your pronunciation and that of Standard American English (neutral, mainstream, unaccented).

You will be instructed in the placement of your articulators - your lips, your teeth and your tongue - to facilitate easy production of your new sounds.

Through the use of carefully crafted drill sheets, you will practice the new sounds in words and sentences. You will be provided with immediate feedback and correction, so that you can gain confidence and consistency in producing your new sound.

Learn more about methods used to alter speech.

Slow Down…You Speak Too Fast!

How fast do you speak?  Does it feel as if you are speaking so fast that you can barely get your articulators in the right place in time to clearly enunciate a word?  Do you take the time to pause between phrases and sentences?  If not, does it sound like your speech is just one long sentence, which most often lacks any punctuation?  Do you emphasize words as you are speaking so that your message comes across clearly and is memorable for your listener?

If the speech behaviors described seem all too familiar to you, your rate of speech is probably much too fast!  Did you every stop to think about how your listeners perceive your fast speech?  After all, the purpose of speech is to communicate with others.  If you are not getting your message across, because you are speaking much too fast, you are not communicating effectively. You may lose the attention of your audience if you are making them work too hard to understand you.  It really won’t matter what you are saying, even if it is quite clever and informative, because your message will get lost in the delivery.

The delivery, marked by an excessively rapid rate of speech, conveys many things to your listener.  Fast speech may be interpreted as nervousness; a speaker who is so anxious that they rush through their message just to be finished.  You may also appear insecure and unsure of yourself.  Fast speech can also convey the impression that you are bored, uninterested, or just do not have the time to spend speaking to your audience.  Your listeners need to feel that you are attentive, engaged, and focused on whatever is being said.  They will judge your communication not just by what is being said, but also by how it is being said.

If you want your communication skills to be viewed positively, there are a number of changes you need to make to speak at a more conversational and communicative speed.  First, you must be aware of your rate of speech.  The best way to truly hear yourself is to record your speech during a normal conversation, then actively listen to the recording.  You should pay attention to your articulation, and how effective you thought you were in communicating your message.  Next, listen and see if you are pausing between ideas at the end of a phrase and at the end of a sentence.  Finally, notice if you “punch out” words to enhance the meaning of what you are saying.  If your speech sounds rather monotone, without rising and falling intonation, you are probably not communicating in the best way possible.  Finally, a lack of pausing between phrases or at the ends of sentences may result in a lack of breath to adequately support your verbalizations.  If your breath supply is weak, the words near the end of your utterances will lack volume and clarity and may cause your listener to miss your message because they cannot hear you.

If you are committed to sounding better by reducing the rate of your speech, there are methods you can try.  You can silently repeat the last word of the sentence that you just uttered before starting the next sentence.  Alternatively, you may count 1…2…before continuing with what you are saying.  Although initially , this may be somewhat frustrating and uncomfortable, this forced slow down will become part of your natural pace.

Another way to actively work on the pace of your speech is to : Select a paragraph/ from a book/ a magazine/ or a newspaper/ Mark the paragraph/ into short groups of words/ with a diagonal line/ Then/ go back/ and read the paragraph aloud/ Make sure to stop/ at each and every line/ Read the paragraph this way/ at least three to four times/ Practice doing this/ a few times a day/ Then/ select another paragraph/ however/ this time/ do not mark the paragraph with diagonal lines/ Visualize the lines/ and try to maintain the same controlled pace.

Ultimately, with practice and discipline, it is possible to speak slower and to communicate your message at a more comprehensible pace.  You can maintain your energy, enthusiasm, and excitement but when you reduce your rate of speech, these traits will enhance rather than detract from your delivery.


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