Learn five tips on how to become more articulate in this video. Discover the importance of building your vocabulary, using the right words at the right time, and answering questions concisely. Gain confidence in presenting your ideas and opinions with precision.
The video discusses five tips to become more articulate. The first tip is to build vocabulary and use the right words at the right time. The second tip is to practice explaining complex ideas in plain language. The third tip is to support ideas with evidence and give concrete specifics. The fourth tip is to explain both sides of an issue equally well. Finally, the fifth tip is to answer questions directly and concisely. By implementing these tips, individuals can improve their communication skills and be perceived as more articulate.
- Here are five tips, some DOs
and DON'Ts to become more articulate.
Number one, build your vocabulary
so you can use the right word at the right time.
So already we're talking about a misunderstood point.
I'm not saying use lots of fancy words.
In fact, I'm generally against that.
The point of a larger vocabulary that exists first
and foremost in your head is that it allows you to
use what we say is the right word at the right time.
The most helpful word
the more potential words you have available
in your mental library.
The better position you are to communicate your ideas
with precision in the moment.
And that's what articulate sounds like.
That way you can express yourself well
and you're not stuck searching for the right word.
But in contrast, to be clear
I do not recommend loading up your conversations
with unnecessarily fancy words, as I'll call them.
That won't create the impression that you are articulate.
I know some people who are constantly using big words
and it feels as if they're trying to impress people.
I've heard this described
as sounding insecure or trying too hard.
So in terms of how often to use a vocabulary word
here's my recommendation or rule of thumb
limit yourself to one fancy word per conversation
the best way to build your vocabulary
are by reading, circling words that are unfamiliar
and then looking them up.
I used to circle and look up about one word per page.
When I was in my twenties in reading
we used to use a real dictionary, an actual book
and I still look up two
or three or more words a day on Google.
It takes just a few seconds.
You can also use a vocabulary app that teaches you
about one new word per day.
And when you learn a new word
use that word a few times that same day, even
if you're just practicing sentences aloud to yourself.
Number two, practice explaining complex ideas
in plain language, in contrast.
You don't want to be long-winded or use lots
of technical terms, multiplying words or using lots
of industry specific terms or acronyms is almost
never seen as articulate because it confuses listeners.
If people don't understand what you're talking about
they will not see you as articulate.
But when people speak clearly and concisely
they sound smooth and will often be considered articulate
because they express themselves coherently
in a way that's easy to follow.
This is a valuable skill that takes time to develop.
It's not a quick fix.
There's an old expression that's credited
to Richard Feynman, a physicist from the 1960s.
This is a paraphrase, but it's his idea.
"If you can't give a freshman level lecture on a subject
then you don't really understand it."
And the key ingredients
to a so-called freshman level lecture are plain language
concise sentences and clear main points.
And it's a balancing act.
It's more of an art than a science.
But at the heart of it
your goal should be to explain yourself plainly
without oversimplifying a subject so much
that you neglect the most important features.
The best way to improve this skill is to slow
down and prepare what you'd like to say ahead of time.
This is almost the same process you use when you
revise an important email a few times before you click send
draft out your thoughts ahead of time.
Literally practice aloud a few times to hone your message
and say it more directly each time
until it's clear, concise, and smooth.
Just a few repetitions
and revisions will make a huge difference when
you eventually talk face-to-face
in your meeting or important conversation.
Number three, support ideas
with evidence and give concrete specifics.
It's very common today
for some people to attempt to add weight
to their message by voicing their opinion
with a strong attitude insistence or an elevated emotion.
That's fair enough.
There's a place for emotions
but I've rarely heard those individuals described
as articulate, to be considered articulate by others.
It's much better to support your ideas
with information like statistics, facts, examples, stories
and real life illustration.
This demonstrates some depth in your knowledge
and a logical connection between your point
and the evidence you use to support your point.
The idea is you state your main point clearly
and then immediately follow up
with an example of statistic story
or other details that shows your fluency on the subject.
And four, a related skill to demonstrate
that you're articulate is to be able to explain both sides
of an issue equally well.
Articulating both sides demonstrates your critical thinking
and mental agility.
So let's say you were in a situation where you're speaking
with your supervisor or a client and you wanna ask
for something, you're asking for approval or support
of some kind.
Professionals are constantly building a case and asking
for something, but most people only explain all
of the benefits or reasons to go along with an idea.
But if part of your goal is to be more articulate
you should get better explaining the upsides or benefits
and the potential downsides or costs.
Some people call this a cost benefit analysis where
you're explaining the pros and the cons, or you're
asking them to choose between option A and option B.
And once you've explained both sides
you'd recommend whatever course of action you personally
favor, so after looking at both sides, you'd simply ask
on balance, I believe option A is the right choice
because it has the best upside and the most
In most cases, your boss or client will ask
about the downsides eventually.
Either way, you might as well prepare those talking points
beforehand and get additional credit
for being a careful, intelligent thinker and communicator.
The good news is you can also do this
in almost any group discussion, even
if it's not advocating for a specific direction
or you have nothing to lose or gain by doing so.
Just as an exercise
you can practice articulating the upside and downside
of almost any big decision the group is considering
and increase your level of fluency on any topic.
It will add value to most discussions
and help you become more articulate in the long run.
Number five, answer questions directly.
Direct answers come across as confident
like you know what you think and you know how to say it.
This could be either after a presentation
or in a regular meeting or conversation.
When people ask a question, they want a direct answer
but answering questions can be a huge challenge
for most people.
This is often where we fall apart.
We may not even be sure what they're asking
in the first place, and then we start answering the question
before we know how to get to the point.
So as a result, our answers often end
up weaving around and we have obvious disfluencies
like hesitations and filler words built in.
And we may never get to the point
because we don't wanna say something wrong
or our answers end up sounding confusing
rather than articulate.
The key to answering questions well is to keep it concise
stay outta trouble.
As I like to say, presentations may be a monologue
but Q&A should be a dialogue.
Make Q&A a back
and forth conversation, in a normal conversation.
For instance, over coffee, each person typically talks
for about two to three sentences
and then it's the other person's turn to talk.
Use that same approach for Q&A.
Here's what that would look
like if we visualize this as writing.
When somebody asks a question
strive to answer in two or three sentences.
If you're too short and just give one
or two word answers that could come across as clipped
like you are closed off and you don't want to talk about it
but you also don't wanna speak too long
and give answers that look
like entire paragraphs that will begin to sound
like you're rambling.
Now, if there really is a lot to say
then let that same amount of overall information come
out in the course of a back and forth conversation
in smaller bite sized chunks rather than one long monologue.
So to sum this one tip up to sound articulate.
Listen to the question, pause
for a few seconds and take a breath
while you form a concise answer in your head
and then answer directly in two or three sentences.
And that answer should be delivered
in a tone that leaves the door open
for a follow-up questions and further conversation
if the other person wants to pursue it.
So here's a summary of the tips.
I'm confident that
if you get better at these communication practices
other people will almost instantly see you
as more articulate, but you'll have to practice them
over time to make them habits.
Feel free to take a look at the description below
for the various resources, including a free PDF download
of the top five communication skills
that every professional should have.
I look forward to reading
and responding to your comments below.
Until next time, thanks, God bless, and I'll see you soon.
Becoming more articulate is an important skill that can greatly enhance your communication abilities. Here are five tips to help you improve your articulation:
Having a strong vocabulary allows you to choose the right words to express your ideas accurately. However, it's important to note that using unnecessarily fancy words can come across as trying too hard. To expand your vocabulary, read extensively and make a habit of looking up unfamiliar words.
Being able to communicate complex ideas clearly is a valuable skill. Avoid using technical terms or industry-specific jargon that may confuse your audience. Instead, strive to explain yourself in a way that is easy to understand and follow. Prepare ahead of time and practice expressing your thoughts out loud to refine your message.
Backing up your ideas with evidence strengthens your argument and demonstrates depth of knowledge. Use statistics, facts, examples, stories, and real-life illustrations to support your points. This helps establish a logical connection between your ideas and the evidence you present.
Showcasing your critical thinking skills and mental agility by being able to explain both the pros and cons of an issue is a mark of articulation. This skill is especially useful when making a case or advocating for a particular course of action. Practicing articulating both sides can help you become more fluent in any topic.
Answering questions concisely and directly shows confidence and clarity of thought. Keep your responses short and to the point, without veering off track. Aim for a back-and-forth conversation rather than a long monologue, allowing room for further discussion if the other person is interested.
By implementing these tips and practicing them over time, you can improve your communication skills and be seen as more articulate. Remember, becoming articulate takes effort and continuous practice, but the results are worth it.
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