It’s a great big wonderful world to live in, love in, laugh in and speak in It’s an even more wonderful world when your speech is fluent, informed, intelligible, audible and attractive. When the garment of a melodious speaking voice fits closely to the body of your meaning you gain a self-reliance to meet any and every situation.To speak well, an intimate association of mind, voice and imagination is required. This is not a gift but must be learned. Children learn to speak by imitation but as we grow older we put away childish things and learn to speak like men and women with confidence. A full-toned, well modulated voice is the product of training, and can be developed with practice; it is the distinguishing mark of a refined and cultivated mind. YOur voice reveals your nature. Happy people have happy voices and your voice proclaims to the world your possession or lack of self-confidence.
The world generally accepts a man at his own valuation, and you are judged on first meeting by the way you speak. If you are hesitant, fearful, or indecisive in your speech, it is often assumed that you are a hesitant, fearful and indecisive individual.
To speak well is a matter of self-respect, and effort to make the most of yourself and let the world know WHAT YOU ARE REALLY LIKE.
Hildegarde, the celebrated entertainer, says, “There is a ‘secret ingredient; in any woman’s charm that too many of us overlook. This is the knack of making our words and voices sound lovely when we talk. It is unfortunate that so many women with harsh or less than pleasant voices say to themselves, “That’s the way I talk, and I’m stuck with it.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. The way you talk CAN be changed.”
As I write I am thinking of a friend of mine, a school teacher, who has a brilliant mind. Over the years my friend has developed a worried, timid voice and it is this bad habit that hindered him most of his life. He mouths his words and produces distorted, characterless sounds that make a mockery of our sonorous, rich and virile language. My friend teaches English as a written language and ignores spoken English.
During my years in the Rostrum movement, I have listened to timid speakers who, week by week, have learned to articulate, enunciate, vary their tone and speaking pace, raise and lower the pitch of their voices until in a surprisingly short time they have become masters of the speaking voice with every sound in every word distinctly audible . “They can, who believe they can.” Speaking up with confidence is not an endowment of nature. To speak well one must know how, and the practice what one knows.