I once overheard a conversation where someone was communicating negative feedback. The only thing was the person giving the feedback allegedly wasn’t the one who felt that way – he had overheard someone else and wanted to share the criticism with the person it was directed towards. The person who received the feedback, which was a bit on the harsh side, replied back with “she’s my friend, she’d never say something like that about me or anyone else.”
You have a lot to say and are enthusiastic about what you have to say, yet you’re lacking one key ingredient – no one can understand you because you mumble. You may mumble and not even be aware of it – although a good indicator is when people are always asking you to repeat yourself because they didn’t hear or understand what you said.
Mumbling is caused by a number of things such as trying to talk too fast, not opening your mouth all the way while speaking, blocking your mouth, not speaking loud enough, or having a dry or sore mouth. Unless there is something physically wrong with your mouth, the key to dealing with mumbling is practice. Just like people can control their stuttering with practice, a little effort and awareness goes a long way with mumbling. Here are two easy ways to deal with mumbling.
Read out loud:
I’ve had a lot of fun the last week or so with some of the dialogues I’ve had on this blog, via email and the various social networks. I’ve also been enlightened, shocked and learned a few things. So to wrap up this topic so I can move on to the finer points of other areas of communication and personal development, I want to provide you with my final thoughts on Toastmasters along with a brief history of my involvement with this great organization.
Why I joined:
Yesterday, we talked about how to get someone prepped for a conversation so today we’ll get to the meat of it – what to say. This is where many people find the most difficulty so let’s jump right into it.
5. Comment about the situation.
This is the essence of small talk. Mention the weather, make a comment about the place that you’re at, talk about the lengthy wait or whatever other reason you can think of that builds some commonality with the person you’re about to converse with. You’re both somewhere for a reason so if you’re waiting for a train, a doctor, service for your car or waiting in line, you both have that in common. If the weather is unusually nice or there’s something pleasant about the situation you’re in, mention that.
So you’ve heard (or read) me say it over and over again that the only way to overcome your fear of public speaking is to get up there and speak. Like telling someone not to rub their eyes, it’s easy to say but not so easy to do. Just keep in mind that the hardest step to take (and the most terrifying one) is that first step. After that step, everything gets easier.
Taking that first step: