- Learn the art of being articulate. Enunciate. Make a conscious effort to speak more eloquently, and try to improve your language skills. For example, note the word “especially” lacks an X. Pronounce words properly and fully. Take notes from Ron Burgundy.
- Open your mouth. Stop mumbling. Practice speaking tongue twisters in the mirror. How now brown cow.
- Nix the fillers. If you’ve seen any of my YouTube videos, you may notice a lot of the clips are edited. That’s because, like most people I know, I speak with a lot of fillers. It’s a habit I’m constantly trying to break. Words like um, like, and so are oftentimes thrown into sentences in which they don’t belong. Be aware of your “likes.” When you are speaking, speak slowly and catch yourself dropping fillers until you nix them completely.
- “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays ” — John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society
- Learn a new favorite word. I read a lot of books that toss around words I don’t know the meaning of. For that, I have the Merriam-Webster app on my phone. It allows me to “star” words to keep track of my favorites. Gauche and vacuous are two on my list. Target a word and use it in a sentence as many times as you can this week. Repetition will allow you to memorize. Continue to expand your vocabulary.
- Don’t get offended when someone corrects you. Some people like to point out other’s faults and discredit their argument if the incorrect use of “your” is used. Sometimes it’s an honest mistake and sometimes people just plain don’t know any better. When someone corrects you on a mispronunciation or misuse of a word, don’t get defensive. Correct yourself and move on. At least you’ve got better things doing on than being on grammar patrol.
- Challenge yourself. Take an advance language class. Study great poets. Try writing your own short story or poem, and bust out the thesaurus to replace overused words with new, fresh ones.
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