Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some people have an ability to speak their minds so clearly it can be understood from a distance, even though they're not exactly speaking louder than anyone else. On the other hand, many people are very hard to be understood when they're shouting.

There is something about how you use your voice that make it easier for others to understand you. What is the name of that and how can it be trained?

share|improve this question

The way I see it, there are three different components of this:

  • Enunciation: pronouncing individual words so that they are easier to hear and understand
  • Presence and delivery: nonverbal cues like body language, tone of voice, and speed to capture and retain people's attention
  • Content: logically structuring your thoughts and choosing words and concepts to make them easy for the audience to apprehend

Obviously, for each of these you'd benefit from practice, and also from critically listening to/watching people who are good (and bad) at each of these. Hopefully other people will have more to say about the specifics.

I'd like to call out one technique which is underutilized but very helpful: (video)taping yourself talking so you can watch yourself. If you don't do this, you'll probably never become aware of all your bad habits, let alone be able to do anything about them.

share|improve this answer
+1 for 'enunciation' and taping yourself. – Renan Apr 2 '12 at 21:26

Most of the professional public speaking courses offer role play and videotaping of your practice - these then get critical review by the rest of the course, the tutors, and you.

This allows you to progress very quickly in a short space of time with some intense practice.

share|improve this answer

It is called voice projection and it can be trained, actors learn how to do it, teachers learn how to do it and a search of Google now that you have the right term will help you find resources to learn it.

share|improve this answer
I don't think 'google it' qualifies for a good answer. Can you elaborate on what voice projection is? – Renan Apr 10 '12 at 19:41
and did you try googling the phrase?That's what you asked for the phrase you needed. – HLGEM Apr 10 '12 at 19:46
I appreciate you took your time to answer but assuming that is the only technique to 'speak more clearly', which probably isn't, it helps if you explain what it is and why you believe it answers the question. – Renan Apr 10 '12 at 20:47

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.