Are you a fluent speaker?


Fellow Speaker,

Here is a simple truth: fluent speakers are easy to listen to and understand! One of the easiest ways to improve your speaking ability is to become more fluent. How often have you heard a speaker “um,” “er” and “ah,” or worse, offer a flippant “you know” as a form of punctuation? It is painful to listen to and gives the impression the speaker is unprepared and unsure of himself.

If you fall into this trap of using “um,” “er” and “ah” as your form of punctuation when you speak be warned: it is a certain way to inform your listeners you are an unpolished performer! And the net result is your audience will switch off and no matter how hard you try you won’t be able to get them back on board despite the importance of your message or how cleverly written your speech.

Does this happen to you? If so, what can you do to improve the situation? Firstly, make a recording of yourself and take note – how often to you punctuate with an “um,” “er” or “ah?” Next, rehearse your next speech and when you hear yourself utter an “um,” “er” or “ah” stop in your tracks, pause and breathe naturally before starting again. Each time you pause mentally commit to eliminating your tendency to punctuate with “um,” “er” and “ah.”

This little exercise can be difficult to do at first but the impact it will have on your performance will be nothing short of miraculous. Soon you will sound more fluent and less confused. And best of all you’ll be easy to listen to and understand! If you have used this exercise to good effect why not share your experience with the readers of The Speakers College?

Bobby Livingston
The Speakers College



Filed under learning

4 responses to “Are you a fluent speaker?

  1. Hey, Bob, I was a fan of the e-letters you used to send me. Is this blog now taking over from where your letters left off?

    • thespeakerscollege

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your observation. The e-letters were issued fortnightly through my company The Change Agents. I managed to keep them going for 2 years and decided to take a break and focus on my training course in public speaking – SPEAK UP! The Change Agents was all about personal leadership and the powers that emerge when you learn to speak from the heart. It is very likely I will resurrect these e-letters through another blog but right now The Speakers College is calling for my attention and has had early success. My next step is to offer SPEAK UP! to the business, school, church and political communities through e-commerce. Please stay tuned and more will emerge in the goodness of time. As they say: All good things are worth the wait.

  2. Thanks, Bobby. I am apparently now subscribed to your blog, so will no doubt get notified of when you post new comments etc. It is good to see you going with the flow and changing/adapting in the various directions to which you are called. Not an easy thing to do. Especially in the current climate.

  3. thespeakerscollege

    Hi Christine,

    I’m glad you are now subscribed and look forward to more of your thoughts. SPEAK UP! is not too dissimilar in its aim to that of your new “adifferentkindofwork” website and blog. In your work and mine people need to listen to their heart – it is where the real life talent and drive/energy is to be found. It is where all new creation comes from. Through SPEAK UP! you learn to speak from the heart – the experience is cathartic as well as being the cornerstone of all future successful attempts at public speaking. Keep up the good work and continue to spread the gospel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s