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How to Improve Your Voice and Speech in English

Everyone speaks in their own unique way and almost all people have certain things they are not happy about when it comes to their own speech. Maybe we don’t like the way we pronounce certain letter combinations. Maybe we find our own voice too high-pitched. These issues are particularly true for non-native speakers of English, whose problems are amplified because they are speaking a foreign language.

We put a lot of time and effort into grooming such parts of our body like our hair, nails, feet and skin but we largely neglect our most precious asset: Our voice. The way we speak largely defines us as human beings. Our voice and what we do with it is part of our innermost core. We can replace or upgrade any piece of hardware or software. If we find that our smartphone is outdated or our SUV too small we can easily purchase a new one. That’s not the case when it comes to our voice. It stays with us as long as we live.

Why Our Speaking Voice is Important
- Our voice is the single most important tool we have to achieve anything
- We use it every day to accomplish a great variety of tasks
- Most people are afraid of speaking up
- Lots of people are too inhibited to speak to a stranger and feel uncomfortable talking with others when they are in social situations
- Most people don’t like hearing their own voice
- Most people have never paid any attention to their voice or speaking skills

How to Improve Your Speaking Voice
Now that the importance of your English speaking voice has been established, we will shift focus to ways to improve it. It is possible to work to improve your speaking voice by yourself, however, most people will benefit from the advice of a teacher.

Jade Joddle is a teacher of accent and English speaking skills who has a special approach. She is not a naturally gifted speaker, but rather someone who has had to work hard and apply grit in order to have the speaking skills that she has today. This is because Jade Joddle struggled with mutism as a child, which meant she couldn’t speak in some situations, even if she wanted or needed to.

What I like most about Jade’s approach is that she is someone who deeply understands and knows how to solve the problem that many students have with their speaking skills, especially when speaking a foreign language, such as English. Her lessons are influenced by her personal struggles with speech, and because of this, she can give her students all the shortcuts to speaking well in English.

Evaluate Your English Speaking Skills
A good introduction to Jade Joddle’s lessons is to begin by evaluating your speaking skills with her Coaching Resource Pack. This is a handy tool that you can use to analyse issues with your speech or voice. With this knowledge, you can then make a targeted learning plan to improve your speaking in these areas.

Another important principle in Jade Joddle’s teaching approach is that improvement Is always possible, but that students must be prepared to practise their speech on a daily basis. This is why her lessons include lots of active speaking practice.

For students of the English Best forum, who are very strong in their writing skills but often weaker in their speaking skills, Jade’s advice can help us develop our speaking skills. In Jade’s words: ‘improving the voice and speech is a physical process, and to get improvements you have to put in the practice by speaking aloud.’ For this reason, I recommend her teachings to the students of the English Best forum.
Author: Torsten Daerr