Pronunciation in Public Speaking

One of the first essentials of a good speaking voice is clear, distinct enuncia­tion.

BY G. W. Rine

An eminent platform speaker says: "If you wish to be effective in your delivery, you will need to be absolutely accurate in your pronunciation." One of the first essentials of a good speaking voice is clear, distinct enuncia­tion. "To utter articulately," is one of the definitions given by Webster for the verb "enunciate." And all authoritative public readers and speakers assent to the proposition that faultless articulation is a prime requisite to accuracy in pronunciation.

One of the most pleasing and impressive public readers of the French stage fifty and more years ago, was Monvel. We are told that the secret of his success was his exquisite ar­ticulation, acquired by untiring practice, and that he began life with little or no voice power. We need to remember that no word is correctly pronounced which is not distinctly articulated. A distinguished teacher of oral expression gives this bit of counsel: "Concentrate prima­rily on articulation in your voice work." One simply cannot ignore clear, distinct enuncia­tion, and at the same time expect to grow in popularity as a public speaker or platform teacher.

It is scarcely necessary to add that placing the accent on the wrong syllable, or giving the wrong sound to an accented vowel, results un­failingly in a mispronunciation.

Observe how each of the following words illustrates the vulgar absence of articulation by the omission (elision) of a legitimate syllable or consonant, or by the insertion (interpola­tion) of an alien syllable or consonant: (See PDF)

We close this article with a few notable cita­tions:

Ruskin wrote: "An accomplished education must include full command of expression by language."

John Quincy Adams: "The training of the speaker should begin in boyhood, and should be part and parcel of the lessons of the school."

Dr. Charles W. Eliot declared: "A man is educated when he can speak the language of his own country correctly. Nothing is more useful than to speak distinctly."

Mountain View, Calif.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

BY G. W. Rine

April 1933

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Let Us Examine Ourselves

Self-Examination is far more profitable to any man than to examine the lives and acts of others. Never­theless many of us are experienced in sitting in judgment on our fellows, while prone to neglect serious self-examination.

The Personal Touch Imperative

We as leaders must not be content with making fishing tackle or pointing the way to the fishing banks, we must ourselves be actual fishers of men.

One Objective for Every Worker

There is but one mission in this world for Seventh-day Adventists, and that is to save souls.

A Ministerial Forward Movement

This laymen's movement must not only be matched, but surpassed by a forward move­ment on our part as a ministry.

Safeguarding the Worker's Health

When facing pressures, what can a worker do to preserve his health and energy through a normal life span, or can it be done at all?

Greater Evangelism

A Study of Principle, Practice, and Problem

Economy in Our Advertising

Many efforts will be conducted this year with less funds than usual for advertis­ing, and many doubtless with no conference subsidy at all. The following suggestions may be helpful to those who have little money to spend and wish to make it go as far as pos­sible.

Common Excuses in Personal Work

Advice on becoming a successful soul winner.

Editorial Keynotes

Breaking the Spell of the World

Holding Steady in the Present Crisis

Through three bitter years of depres­sion the Lord has enabled His serv­ants to hold the lines of His work without a break, but we now seem to have reached the point of supreme test. Everything depends upon the steadiness with which His workers and people shall meet the pressure of the pres­ent situation.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - SermonView - Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All

Latest Videos

See All
Advertisement - Propel Conf Wide Skyscraper (160x600)