Sometimes a person wants to improve speech clarity because he/she feels speech and communication are impacting professional success and advancement. Others just want to improve speech, diction and delivery for their own self-improvement.
We analyze an individual's speech and voice patterns, design a plan of treatment/remediation and work on our goals until it is felt the desired improvements have been accomplished.
We often use video, certain apps or other technology to help the individual analyze and understand the desired changes. Self-improvement is exciting and takes time, commitment and courage from an individual to make the necessary but desired changes. It is never too late to improve speech and communication skills!!
SPEECH TIPS FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION
Most of us need to slow down and speak more slowly. Rather than thinking about slowing way down and risking sounding unnatural or like you are underwater, instead focus on FINISHING EVERY WORD. That’s right, put the ending on each word you speak. For example, when saying “Open the window and shut the door”, be sure and put the final consonants on each work, particularly the /n/ in open, the /t/ in shut and the /r/ in door. By finishing every word you are actually slowing down in order to make all of those articulatory movements. Thus your speech will be clearer and easier to understand.Voila!
Sometimes speech sounds slurred or “sloppy” or what some may described as “lazy speech”. This can often be improved by making sure to clearly pronounce the tongue-tip sounds, /t/, /d/, /n/ and /l/. The tongue tip makes contact with the gum ridge, just behind the upper front teeth (but not touching the back of the teeth). For instance, “There is water in the bottom of your boat” will sound much clearer if the /t/ sounds in water, bottom and boat are made with the tongue clearly tapping the gum ridge. The same goes for “The building was dedicated today” (emphasize /d/ in building, dedicated today) and “Leave the lazy lion alone” (emphasize /l/ in leave, lazy and lion). Some people say they feel awkward or pretentious, but better to be crisp than sloppy. Also, in time it will become a natural habit and your speech will be enviable by your friends.
Ultimately remember the key to being a really effective communicator...is to be GOOD LISTENER!
Accents and dialects usually present with very specific patterns of phoneme substitutions as well as differences with prosody and timing. We analyze the specific speech patterns and then design a personalized remediation plan.