How To Improve Your Diction

Diction is the act of speaking in a distinctive way, the choice of picking words, pronouncing correctly, and the level of articulation. Speaking in the right diction and pronouncing each word according to its sound helps in improving your diction.
A diction instructor, Drew Company Concept, Mr. Andrew Bini highlights ways to improving your diction.

1. Focus on what you speak and don’t be distracted
Most times people tend to make jest of others that pronounce words better than they do or in a different way or sound differently from the normal tradition. So whoever wants to work on his diction should not be bothered about what people say, as they would make jest or laugh at you but if you must attain what you want, you should not consider what they say rather what is right.

2. Constantly use a pronouncing dictionary
It is important to know that when you are conversant with your dictionary, you can always look up words, get the meaning and pronunciation. If you are able to use it frequently or check up words apart from the fact that it will build the level of your lexicon, it will also help to pronounce words correctly with the transcription given against each word.
The pronouncing dictionary is a type of dictionary that helps the user pronounce given words. So, the English pronouncing dictionary is one that helps the way you pronounce words correctly with the correct stress pattern. Certain words in Nigeria are not pronounced correctly but with a pronouncing dictionary you will be able to tell where the stress is placed.

3. Work on your rise and fall intonation
The intonation is also another part that helps you to correctly say words the way they should be. A question should fall at the beginning and rise at the end. For instance:
Are you going?
Fall rise
Working on your intonation doesn’t only help you to be a better speaker but helps to also convey your message correctly.
4. Working on your /ei/ sounds
This has to do with working with words usually called ‘a’ as Nigerians when it should be /ei/. Getting good intonation starts from working on your basic /ei/ sounds. The sound is paramount because that is one of the easiest ways a person will know if your diction is improved or not. For starters, pronounce words that end with ‘ay’ with the /ei/ sound. Play /pleI/, Stay /steI/, Day /deI/ e.t.c.

5. Copy others carefully
Copy others carefully in word pronunciation; sometimes individuals may have difficulty in pronunciations. Other people ignorantly pronounce the ‘ph’ in the word ‘shepherd’, as /f/ instead of /p/. That an individual speaks with a foreign diction or pronounces words in a different way does not necessarily mean that the person is correct. You may not need to copy others and if need be, then, you need to confirm from your dictionary first to be sure you are copying the right pronunciation.

6. Practice what you’ve learnt
This is very important. Note that if you learn something and don’t use it, there is every tendency of forgetting or not even knowing it anymore. Whatever you’ve learnt put it into practice. When you do, it will stick or become a part of your sub-conscious mind that even when you are woken up at the middle of the night, you would always speak correctly. Continuous practice they say makes perfect.

7. If you can, attend trainings and seminars
This is a necessity as it enables you know the basics and fundamentals of speaking good English and becoming a good speaker. From the greetings, letters of the alphabet, the vowel and consonant sounds, place and manner of articulation for each sound, training helps in providing the foundation for diction. At the training, participants have the opportunity to record whatever the speaker says so as to enhance good learning.

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