How Elocution Lessons Improve Your Public Speaking


by Cynthia Willis

Elocution is the art of articulation. Articulation is correct production of sounds in words while using appropriate voice and diction. Elocution lessons can greatly improve your public speaking.

Elocution consists of perfecting oral communication skills. Effective oral communication is verbally utilizing correct grammatical language structure such as syntax and semantics, as well as correct pronunciation skills.

In addition to using the language in a sophisticated fashion, anyone wishing to become a public speaker or actor must capture and maintain their audience’s attention throughout the presentation or performance. Therefore, the person must understand the power of voice and body language.

Improving Your Human Communication Skills: a Self-development Plan.

The voice is one of the most important factors of a speaker’s performance. Public speakers’ and professional actors’ voice must be colorful if they are to grasp the audience’s attention. Vocal quality, rhythm, resonance, and intonation (pitch variance) are important components in using one’s voice colorfully. Lastly, body language must exude confidence. Body language is very important in capturing an audience’s attention. Your body language must be congruent with your message you are conveying.

Why Are Elocution Lessons Important?

Elocution lessons are very important for aspiring actors and public speakers. Elocution lessons may increase confidence and decrease anxiety before and during a presentation or audition, by giving the actor or public speaker the tools needed to master the art of speaking eloquently.

Mastering the art of oral communication skills can change your social economic status by helping you land the career of your dreams. Thus, elocution lessons can increase your quality of life.

Many people seek speech training to help them get better paying jobs. Effective communication skills can help an individual obtain just about anything his heart desires, just by conveying grammatically correct structure of a language.

Actors and public speakers are not the only people who should seek elocution training. People who should also seek elocution training are those in general sales, such as customer service representatives, car salespersons, lawyers, doctors, etc.

If you are verbally interacting with people, you need to effectively get your thoughts and ideas across without confusion. Speech training can teach you to “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

Practical Example of the Impact of Elocution

Lawyers for example, are responsible for getting others to see their point of view. But what if the lawyer is not a great elocutionist? The lawyer has excellent written communication skills but he or she has a difficult time speaking to his audience or jury.

The lawyer’s body language does not match the message he or she is trying to convey. His or her sentence and semantic structures are not flowing and is not making sense to the audience. Moreover, he or she mispronounces many of the words in the trial. Although the lawyer is representing a client who is totally innocent, the lawyer’s actions demonstrate to the audience the opposite.

Oftentimes, when we lack confidence and display poor body language, people may perceive our actions as a person who lies and cannot be trusted. Yes, the lawyer did demonstrate excellent written communication skills, but his or her oral communication skills were weak and did not exude confidence. In this particular case, the lawyer should seek speech training to help him/her sell himself to his audience/jury, which will increase his/her clientele.

It goes without saying, if you are in a career that has you speaking to the public, it may be in your best interest to invest in your human communication skills. Improving your human communication skills may increase your return on investment.

You may have heard “effective communication is the key to your success”, but have you heard “lost for words, lost for life.”

About the Author

Cynthia Willis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP has earned the highest credentials needed to practice speech-language pathology in private practice. Cynthia Willis has earned the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), of which she is a member. Ms. Willis holds a license from North Carolina State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.