If you are on the path of improving your English language skills, you’ve probably gone through the usual routine of understanding the basic grammar do’s and don’ts and read extensively on it. You are also probably putting your improved knowledge to good use while conversing with friends, colleagues or family. But what if you had to speak on a platform? What if you were asked to come over onto a stage and talk about a particular topic? How would that make you feel? If these questions have made you feel uneasy, you are not alone.
If you believe that you would like to reach that point in time, when you can actually deliver a flawless speech yourself, it would be a good idea to watch the best to get started. Learning by observation is perhaps the easiest form of self-learning. So, it is recommended that you listen to some really great speeches that are available on video sharing platforms.
To get things going, we would recommend you to hear eminent personalities talk on stage on a particular topic and you get to add some new words to your own vocabulary. One of India’s distinguished speakers, the former diplomat and current MP – Mr. Shashi Tharoor, is like an institute by himself, when it comes to speeches in English. Listen to one of his Ted Talks for instance
Things to focus on would be the poise, the diction, the tone, the vocabulary and subtle nuances like the pauses and changes in body language. But if we had to isolate the takeaways that can improve your English, it would be as below:
Speeches are a great way to figure out pronunciations of words. It allows you to hear the sound of the word that you had only read about. It lets you know the correct way of pronouncing a word and this could help in your future communication scenario.
Speeches by noted personalities have a lot of thought put into them before they actually get spoken. So, one can expect them to use high impact words and display a wide range of vocabulary expertise. This allows for the interested learner coming across some “never heard before” word that can be added into our personal vocabulary data.
Another great takeaway from listening to speeches is the tone of the voice. While all speeches are meant to engage the entire audience, you will notice the differences in the pitch and tempo depending on the type of speech you are listening to or watching. For e.g. a political speech will entail a loud tone designed to energize the audience for votes, a spiritual talker will put across his point of view in a subtle manner and perhaps a movie star would do it differently. Observing different speakers and their speaking styles, you will understand how to use the right tone to engage your audience towards your objective.
So, there you have it, your English improvement quest can get a big boost by listening or watching speeches. Dedicate a few minutes every day to listen to or watch motivational and inspirational videos too. They will do you a world of good – not just enhance your English-speaking skills, but also enlighten you with some life living skills in the bargain!
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- By Shailja Varma
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