Rule 19: Speak well

Famous Nigerian Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st 

So
what does speaking well mean?  Am I
suggesting you walk around with a plumy BBC voice and say ‘hice’ instead of ‘house’
and ‘creche’ instead of ‘crash’? 
Of course not.  You can keep your
regional accent; that’s not the problem. 
Look at why we speak – it is to communicate, to convey information –
rather than how we speak. Speaking well means getting information over clearly
and effectively.  It doesn’t matter how
you speak, but it does matter that you speak clearly.  And speaking clearly means just that –
clearly.  The things you must avoid are:

·                   
Mumbling
– for obvious reasons, they can’t hear or understand you.
·                   
Speaking
too softly or quietly – again they can’t hear you.
·                   
Using
Jargon – it’s unintelligible to others outside of your department or field of
expertise.
·                   
Any
sort of speaking that identifies you with a particular group or social class –
i.e. youth (trying to use the latest trendy slang or catchphrase), or
politically extreme (radical anything, political correct gone mad, ecologist,
vegetarian or environmentally obsessive), or too obviously belonging to any
class system (too plumy, too cockney, too regional).

“Speaking well makes
an impact.  If you slouch in and mumble
your name, people will assume you are under-confident, ill at ease and barely
human – and thus quickly forget you”

Speaking
badly–using ‘less’ when you really
mean ‘fewer’ – that sort of
thing.  If you don’t know the difference,
get an English grammar book and learn it off by heart.  Don’t use verbal mannerisms such as ‘you know’ or ‘like’.  Always finish your sentences.
There
are four key words to remember to get you speaking well:
·                   
Bright
·                   
Clear
·                   
Pleasant
·                   
Simple
That’s
all you need to know.  If you use these
four, you won’t go wrong and people will remember what you say and be impressed
by your clear, bright speaking voice. 
Speaking well makes an impact.  If
you slouch in and mumble your name, people will assume you are under-confident,
ill at ease and barely human – and thus quickly forget you.  If you walk in confidently, say your name
clearly and with confidence people will assume you know where you are going,
who you are and what you want and thus remember you.  Speak simply – say directly what it is you
want to say, and nothing more.
(Excerpts from THE
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to write Well as a CEO” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)









Rule-to-Work Series
















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