1. You will be more effective as a speaker if you treat every word as a “living being” (T/F)
  2. Your listeners don’t need any time to comprehend what you are saying (T/F).
  3. Don’t rush on to the next sentence when you’ve just finished one (T/F).
  4. It is important to impress your listeners with “big” words (T/F).
  5. Select words that are easy to pronounce (T/F).
  6. An effective speech coach can shorten the time needed to improve your vocal quality (T/F).
  7. Proper breathing is the most important element in voice projection (T/F).
  8. The speed speaking exercise will make you a fast talker (T/F).
  9. Eye contact has nothing to do with vocal projection (T/F).
  10. If you can enunciate your words clearly when you speak faster than usual, you will probably enunciate your words very clearly when you speak at your normal rate (T/F).

Answer the above questions first, and then scroll down to see the answers!

Telephone Tips for Better Speaking

Here are a few ways you can come across more effectively on the telephone:

  1. Check your telephone greeting. If your voice is on the telephone’s voice mail greeting, call your number and listen to your greeting. How is your vocal quality? Do you come across as friendly and professional? Do you ramble or are you too clipped? If you see anyway to improve the greeting, record a new greeting. Your voice is your signature on the telephone.
  2. When your phone rings, answer the phone with a smile. Your smile will affect your vocal vibrations and inflection so that the listener can hear your smile!
  3. When you are want to project more energy to the listener on the other end of the telephone line, stand up when you are on the phone. Your body will mysteriously signal to the vocal chords to project that a greater energy.


  1. T
  2. F
  3. T
  4. F
  5. T
  6. T
  7. T
  8. F
  9. F
  10. T




10 correct answers: High Vocal IQ. Congratulations!

0 correct answers: Your vocal clarity & projection need help … urgently.

If you scored less than 10, consider joining the Diamonds Club!

If you scored 10, consider joining the Diamonds Club to see what else you can learn!

Unleashing Your Communication & Performance Potential


Increasing Vocal Clarity and Projection


Legend tells us that famed orator Demosthenes practiced speaking with pebbles in his mouth. If he could speak clearly with pebbles in his mouth, you can imagine how much clearer he could speak with no pebbles in his mouth! I do not advocate “pebble speaking” because it can be no fun if a pebble is swallowed. However, there are disciplines you can follow as a speaker to ensure that the audience members hear your words clearly.


Following up last month’s e-newsletter on vocal quality, let’s focus on two skills that you, as a speaker, find important: Vocal clarity and vocal projection.


There can be multiple reasons for lack of vocal clarity. Included among these are: the speaker is not paying attention to the formation of each word that is spoken; the speaker is in a rush to get to the next word as soon as a word is spoken; the speaker is unaware how to correctly pronounce a word; the speaker has physical problems in forming words.


Here are principles that will help you immediately speak with more clarity:

  1. Treat every word as if it is a living being. Show respect to your words. Pronounce and enunciate each word completely before moving on to the next word.
  2. Understand that it takes a fraction of time from the time you complete a sentence for the audience members to grasp what you said. When you take the time to deliver the sentence completely and don’t rush off to the next sentence, audience members have time to stay with your expressed thoughts. If you do not allow the listeners the time they need to comprehend what you are saying, sentence-by- sentence, it will frustrate them, even if you pronounce each word perfectly. This principle in practice means that you strive to help the audience understand your message and not simply impress them with how fast you can speak.
  3. Select words that you can easily pronounce. Keep it simple. Research how to pronounce any new words you feel you should use in your speech.
  4. If you have physical problems articulating words, visit a speech pathologist for an evaluation of your condition and treatment options. For example, people with stuttering problems can learn ways that they can control the stutter.
  5. If you feel that you need the guidance of an expert to overcome problems of vocal clarity, contact a Speech Coach. A client of mine recently found that his “lisping” problem was greatly reduced after he did a few recommended vocal exercises.


Here is an exercise I developed to increase vocal clarity. I found it very helpful when I was competing in speech contests, but it can be very effective for any kind of speaking.


This exercise assumes that you have written out the text of your speech. You need a digital voice recorder or tape recorder or any device that will record your voice and play it back.

  1. Break your speech down into several passages. You will focus on one passage at a time.
  2. Read the first passage at your regular speed and record it. This will give you a baseline.
  3. Now read that same passage at a faster rate. As you are reading it, force your mouth to form each word properly so that each word can be distinctly heard. Record it. I suggest that you do not stand in front of a mirror because when you see your mouth and face contort to enunciate the words correctly, you might burst out laughing and interrupt your exercise.
  4. Play back the two recordings. Listen carefully to the way you articulated the words. Would an audience member have comprehended what you were saying? If you feel that you are not enunciating certain words clearly enough, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Once you have “passed” step 3, read the same passage at a very much faster rate. Record it. Listen to that recording. If the words are not clear, repeat it until you’ve got it right.
  6. Now, read that passage at your normal speaking rate. Record it. Listen to it.
  7. Play back the recording you made in step #2 and compare the clarity of your words in step #2 and step #6. You should see that in step #6, your words are much clearer and crisper. You will not sound as if you are rushing through your speech, but will appear to have sufficient time to articulate every word comfortably.

Voila! Now move on to another passage of your speech and repeat steps #2-7.


Voice Projection

In the April issue of this newsletter, we discussed the importance of proper breathing. That is the most important feature in voice projection. Think of Aladdin’s magic carpet. The magic carpet for a speaker is the bed of air that transports your voice and words. If you do not breathe properly, your words will fall down before they reach their intended destination – the listener’s ears.

Besides the magic carpet concept, another useful concept in regards to voice projection is that of throwing your voice. Recall a time when you threw a baseball or cricket ball. You will find that you naturally looked at the person or location you wanted the ball to arrive at. Likewise, look at the eyes of different audience members, one at a time. Look at the people in the back and throw your voice. When you look at the people in the front of the auditorium, don’t forget that you have to say the words loudly enough so that people in the back of the auditorium can hear you.

There is one more necessity for proper projection: Vocalize the endings to your words and sentences. Ideally, there should be a very slight pause after you finish a sentence. Let the words float out on the magic carper of your breath and reach the ears of your listeners. With the techniques of proper breathing, the magic carpet, throwing your voice, and vocalized endings, you will master vocal projection.


Next month we will look at further techniques to improve speech delivery.


If you found this newsletter helpful and would like more in-depth information directly from me, come join the Diamonds Club. Here is what you get from the Diamonds Club:


As a member, you will receive:

  • A weekly video training session on how you can become a more competent and confident public speaker. This will run from 8-12 minutes and you can play it as many times as you want to extract the maximum learning from it.
  • Free quarterly webinars, which will go into depth on public speaking skills as well as special communication topics that will help you reach ever-higher levels of knowledge and competence.
  • Receive an evaluation of your upcoming speech. Submit a video clip or script of a speech you are preparing to give. Receive expert feedback that will inform you about what you are doing well and receive practical tips on how to improve your presentation.
  • A Q & A Forum where you can submit your questions about public speaking and communication. Learn from the answers, not just to your questions, but also answers to questions posed by others.

You can hurdle time and money obstacles because for a low monthly fee, you can access all of the above 24/7! For more details and to sign up, click here.


Dr. Dilip Abayasekara
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Upcoming Events

May 19:
Keynote: “Stretch-Build-Achieve” (Toastmasters District 87, Malaysia)

May 19:
Workshop: “Unleash Your Personal Leadership Power.” (Toastmasters District 87, Malaysia)

May 22:
Workshop: “Preaching with Power”(Skyline SIB Church, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia)

June 2:
Speech Coaching: Preaching

June 4:
Speech Coaching: CEO

June 7:
One-day workshop: High Impact Communication & Listening Skills (Educational Testing Service, New Jersey, USA)

June 12:
Speech Coaching: Preaching

June 15:
Speech Coaching: Business Executive

June 23:
Speech Coaching: Preaching

June 28:
Speech Coaching: Preaching


Quote to Think About

“Self-discovery is a by-product of speech training.”

- Dr. Ralph C. Smedley

BREAKING NEWS – Dr. Dilip co-Authors New Book on Public Speaking!

On May 8 in Bangalore, India, Dr. Dilip and co-author Kathiravan (Kadri) Pethi launched their new book, Public Speaking with Power, Passion, and Purpose. The book is primarily intended for college and high school students but its content will be useful for speakers at every level of competence. The current issue will be available for sale in India only. The authors plan to release subsequent editions in Sri Lanka and the USA. See the cover:

On-the-road Update about Dilip’s Mini-Asia Tour

Dr. Dilip is currently in beautiful Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, looking forward to keynoting, on May 19, the Toastmasters District 87 Conference, and presenting a workshop on Unleashing Your Personal Leadership Power. On May 22 he will cap off his speaking tour with a 1-day workshop on Preaching with Power to the Skyline SIB Church. His tour began on May 7-9 in Bangalore, India, where he presented:

The Language of Leadership seminar: Schneider–Electric: 60 professionals

The Key to Success & Happiness 1-day workshop: 40 professionals and executives

Strategic Consulting and Teamwork Training to Dhruva Landscape Architects.

In Colombo, Sri Lanka: When I Listen, Why Don’t I Hear? Seminar was presented to Colombo Toastmasters and their guests.

Copyright © 2012 Dr. Dilip, LLC, All rights reserved.

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