Speech outreach

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my (many) pet peeves is the way some people speak… or misspeak. Many fail to express themselves clearly or accurately and I often have to ask them to repeat themselves.
Is my hearing deficient or is their speech inadequate? I prefer to opt for the second possibility.

Elocution (the skill of clear and expressive speech) is one of the most valuable talents an individual can master. For a well-spoken person, the world is his oyster. With good oratory skills, a man/woman is always a preferred candidate.

And you don’t have to shout. A quiet speech is often more effective than a thunderous one. If you want to be heard, speak softly (and preferably, carry a big money bag).

The question is: How do you know if you are expressing yourself properly if you can easily be understood?

If you are a bit curious, try to dictate the following sentence to any recording device:

“Merry Mary married hairy Harry.”

It sounds easy, but it is not. Despite repeated attempts, I failed miserably.  My (slow-witted) computer could only register the following:

“Mary Mary Mary Harry Harry.”

I am obviously a mediocre speaker and I could certainly use Professor’s Henry Higgins expertise.

“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains.”

I had no problem with this sentence. Thank goodness, I am not a totally lost cause.

Speech is important. Much more important than good looks. Beauty is fleeting, speech is enduring. You can be a potent orator at any age but a nice caboose can only carry you so far.
Besides being “une fine lame” (an expert swordsman) Cyrano de Bergerac was an even better wordsmith. It is only through his flowery prose that Christian won Roxanne’s love.

So, my friends, cultivate your ambulatory vocabulary and oratory. It can take you much farther than a nose or a boob job.

Alain

“Give me a tinkle on the blower” when you get a chance.

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