Do people often misunderstand you when you speak?

It might be that you're not speaking clearly enough.

A gentleman with moving hands says

These 4 tips will help you speak more clearly in your everyday conversation.

1. Hit The Right Pitch

Pitch refers to how high or low your voice sounds.

Using the right pitch will help match your words to your emotions.

➡ Speak loudly and at a high pitch to draw attention to something unexpected.

➡ Speak softly and at a low pitch to convey something sad or serious.

Flaticon Icon Consider the question, "Are you leaving for a new house?"

  • If you ask this question in a soft voice with a lower pitch, your listener might think you're sad about them leaving.

  • If you say the same line in a louder voice with a higher pitch, it might sound like you're surprised by the news.

▶ Watch this video to learn how pitch patterns can affect your message.

2. Inflect To Impact

Inflecting your speech with a rising or falling voice can change the intention of your words.

➡ Speak with a rising voice if you want to express uncertainty or doubt.

➡ Speak with a falling voice if you want to express certainty or confidence.

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Consider the question, "The wedding is on Sunday, isn't it?"

If you ask this question with a rising voice (your voice rises on the last word), it means you really don't know what day the wedding is happening.

But if you ask it with a falling voice (your voice falls on the last word), it means you know it's Sunday and you're confirming this fact.

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You can also change the meaning of a sentence by speaking more strongly on specific words.

▶ Watch this video to learn how inflection can change the meaning of your words.

3. Ace Your Pace

Ideally, you should speak in a conversational tone that amounts to 120–150 wpm.

However, adjust your pace if you want to draw attention to a certain topic.

➡ Speak more quickly when discussing something urgent, intriguing, or emotional.

➡ Speak more slowly when introducing new ideas or saying anything sad or unclear.

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▶ Watch this video to learn how varying your pace can help get your message across.

4. Use Pauses Effectively

A pause gets your audience ready to hear what you have to say next.

Pausing also helps you cut down on unnecessary filler words like "uh" and "umm", which can distract your listeners.

Pause to make sure your ideas and thoughts are clear in your mind if you're unsure of what to say next.

Pause before, after, or both before and after to emphasize a word or phrase.

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▶ Watch this video to learn how pausing can help make your message clear.

Some Final Tips On Speaking Clearly

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✔ Take a deep breath. This gives your brain and lungs more oxygen. It helps you organize your ideas and you won't fall short of air.

✔ Think before you say it. You don't need to prepare a speech — you only need to consider how you'll present your ideas with simple words.

✔ Practice tongue twisters. If you've got pronunciation difficulties, try saying tongue twisters daily.

Read daily. This increases your vocabulary while also supplying you with many ideas to speak clearly and confidently.

Meet Rabiya

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She's a non-native English speaker. She finds it difficult to communicate with her friends, most of whom are native speakers. She notices her friends are often confused by what she's trying to tell them.


What should Rabiya do? Select all that apply.

Take Action

A fitness instructor says,

Practice your speaking skills to improve the clarity of your message!


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