One of the most common problems with speech and communication improvement is carryover—all too often, people make excellent progress during formal training, but have difficulty carrying their new found skills into their day-to-day life. This is because, like any other skill set, speech and communication must be practiced regularly to be fully learned. Without practice, your brain and body don’t become fully accustomed to the new skill. However, when you repeatedly perform an activity on a regular basis, it becomes automatic, requiring less active thought until it simply becomes a part of your normal behavior.
While it can be difficult to fit practice into an already packed schedule, there are plenty of opportunities in your daily life to work on your new skill set. Use the following tips to help you practice your speech and communication skills as you go about your day:
- Decide on a few day-to-day activities in which you speak to strangers to focus on as practice. This works best if the activity is a part of your daily routine, for example, ordering your morning coffee. Each time you engage in this activity, take a moment beforehand to decide on your communication goal for this particular interaction (for example speaking slowly). After you’ve finished the interaction, take stock of how you feel it went, and how you feel you could improve the following day.
- Leave notes for yourself in places that you will see often throughout your day. For example, put a post it note on your phone that says “Slow down!” or “Clear and precise!” Then, each time you pick up your phone to speak with someone, you will encounter that visual reminder and focus on that specific skill.
- Try to read aloud as often as possible. Using written material takes away the burden of formulating your thoughts, leaving you the chance to fully concentrate on your speech. Print out some of the e-mails and faxes you receive during the workday, and once you’re in the privacy of your home, try reading them aloud. If possible, record this practice and play it back for yourself, so that you can assess your progress and make changes.
The more often you practice, the more automatic good speech will become. Over time you will find that proper speech and good communication habits no longer require conscious effort on your part and will become second nature. Remember: practice makes perfect!
For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com
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