If you want to effectively express yourself anytime without sounding obnoxious, the perfect solution is to learn how to be more articulate. By learning how to be more articulate, you will also impress other people with your intelligence and confidence.
Since most of us talk differently in certain situations and with particular people, we categorized our tips on how to be more articulate. There are easier ways on how to sound more intelligent to your family and friends without changing your personality. On the other hand, there are more serious methods when you have to engage in public speaking as well as meeting new people, especially academics and scholars.
Included here are tips on how to be more articulate when facing your loved ones. How can you improve your conversations with your family and friends? After all, misunderstandings can happen just because you cannot express your thoughts clearly.
Think before you speak.
This is a cliche one, but still helpful as always. You will prevent offending your loved ones by being tactful. Sure, there is nothing wrong with being honest about who you really are. However, since you want to be more articulate in the first place, there is nothing intelligent about blurting out profanities here and there just because you are comfortable.
Another advantage of being tactful is smoother conversations with your family and friends. When your mind is not cautious as you speak, you tend to say nonsense words or statements. One example is telling an exciting story to your friends. If you cannot construct your words carefully, your story slowly loses its entertainment value. The topic of conversation will also last longer than intended, forgetting other amusing stories that can make your gathering even better.
Read a lot.
It is nice to know a lot of synonyms so you can make your conversations more colorful, interesting, and meaningful. When you read various books and online articles, feel free to check the meaning of words you cannot understand. Explore words in a thesaurus or dictionary.
You can even make a personal game out of this. Make flashcards about new words you may encounter. Then, in your free time, randomly pick a card and remember the word’s meaning. Other people even buy products that intend to expand your vocabulary. There are calendars that give one interesting word for each day. Do not hesitate to have a simple goal of learning at least seven words every week. Besides, it is fun!
Some people in family reunions do not like to share long stories. They just sit back and listen most of the time. A reason for this is their fear of making others bored while they are speaking. This can also be the case when one is hanging out with friends. Though it is normal to have quiet ones in a certain group of friends, they can still improve their communication skills just by being confident.
When you tell a personal story, clear your mind from your own negative expectations that what you are going to share is not interesting enough. Recall the scenes chronologically as you enumerate each action or situation. Never forget to make eye contact with everyone. This ensures that they will listen to your story until the end. It is also okay to speak slower than usual. What’s important is for you to express your thoughts while maintaining your family’s or friends’ attention. Just be confident and dominant when it is your turn to speak. Who cares if your story is boring after all? At least you sound intelligent throughout.
Do not include many fillers.
Have you experienced telling a story to a friend and suddenly remembered something out of the blue just because of a single word? Once you say “by the way,” do not let the next words dominate your original intention. You can state a couple of sentences then go back to your main point immediately. One factor that can make the other person bored is including irrelevant stuff as you speak.
Avoid some verbal pauses.
We are talking about the most common ones: “um” and “like.” Even other languages have a corresponding word for the latter. You may sound edgy or perky with these two verbal pauses but never intelligent. These words just drag the conversation. More importantly, most bystanders tend to get annoyed when they hear nonstop ums and likes. These verbal pauses give an impression that you are not articulate enough. To solve this, just make a pause – literally. But, make sure it will only last for a few seconds. This takes us back to our first tip that we must think before we speak.
Never hesitate to use your hands.
People who tend to make hand gestures as they speak are mostly the laughingstock of intimate groups. They are usually described as flamboyant, theatrical or dramatic. If you are this type of person, never stop. If hand gestures make you talk fluently without annoying pauses, that’s your asset. Once you notice that you are getting too excited, you can simply tone it down.
In fact, when you do not move your hands as you speak, you are more likely to stutter since you keep forgetting what you need to say. Your hands actually keep your mind alert during the conversation. It is the same as making eye contact. Remember, communication is not just verbal. It can definitely be nonverbal as well. Lastly, hand gestures also give the impression that you are confident about what you are saying. Putting your hands in your pockets is more awkward to look at.
One foolproof tip on how to be more articulate is keeping yourself updated with the latest happenings and trends around the world. Why? An articulate person must also know how to start an interesting topic. Read or watch the news. Check out the newest discoveries in science and technology. Explore interesting blogs. By doing all of these, you are also upgrading the quality of your group’s conversations.
What if you have to meet VIPs as part of your work? Do you want to become a teacher or instructor? Are you frequently engaging in public speaking? All of these notions are relevant to the purpose of learning how to be more articulate.
Research, research, and more research.
If you have to teach a group of people or make a presentation, know the subject perfectly. Some people would just stick to the formal outline, but you can never go wrong by researching about the topic so you can give examples or explanations easily when things start to get complicated. It can be quite embarrassing if you cannot answer a question from the audience.
Stop using contractions and slang.
Just because a two-syllable word can be shortened to just one does not mean that it can make you more articulate. It actually leads to the opposite. In formal settings, say “hello” instead of a simple “hi.” “Yeah” and “uh-huh” may sound cool and all, but “yes” will always be the smarter word. When you cannot understand what the other person says, do not simply ask “Huh?” or “What?” Instead, apologize and kindly ask the person to repeat the question.
When it comes to contractions, as much as possible, say “do not” instead of “don’t.” The same idea goes for other types of contractions. This is more applicable when you are giving a report or presentation. In casual conversations, you can still be articulate with contractions. After all, it is important to be yourself while you are taking a break from work or school.
Review grammar rules.
If you have a career in public speaking, study grammar rules from time to time. You may have forgotten some standards due to the influence of daily casual conversations. Sometimes, the smartest person in the room is not you even though you are a teacher, instructor or public speaker. That is why you have to be prepared at all times in case you will have an intelligent listener from the audience.
While speaking in front of a crowd, make eye contact with some people from the audience. Your eyes do not have to linger. A few seconds is enough to prevent yourself from giving a creepy vibe. You may look at the person one more time but never linger. However, if you are going to ask a question or get an opinion, maintain eye contact as you directly talk to the person.
Whenever you end a sentence, do not prolong the last syllable. It would sound like you are asking a question. Indecisiveness loses your authority as the speaker of the room. Always be firm when you speak.
When it comes to the physical aspect, signal authority and confidence by wearing a comfortable yet appropriate outfit. Additionally, posture is very essential. Stand tall, sit straight, and walk like royalty. Do not hunch your shoulders. Never cross your arms while talking.
Prepare before you present.
You may record your voice while rehearsing for a presentation. This way, you can make a list of your annoying verbal pauses if there are any. You can also go the extra mile by recording a video of yourself as you practice. This is even better since you can spot awkward gestures and comical mannerisms you never knew you had.
Just because our tips on how to be more articulate are categorized does not mean that they are only exclusive to a specific category. You can actually follow all aforementioned tips to improve your overall articulateness. However, do not let your goal to be more articulate affect the way you mingle with your family and friends. That is the exactly the reason why we divided our tips into two categories in the first place.