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To Speak, Read.

What does it mean to be articulate and well spoken?

The definition is straight forward. “Expressing oneself readily, clearly, and effectively.” “To give clear and effective utterance to: to put into words.”

This is not enough to encompass what it means to be articulate. In books we have read in movies we have watched in TV shows we are comfortable with, and in interpersonal real-life relationships the ability to transmit the ideas in one person head to another person head is far from straight forward and people have a vast range of kills when it comes to this skill set.

Let me say straight forwardly, to be articulate, a person must read. Many other things must follow, including practice of the art of speaking, deep consideration of the task being spoken about, and the material presented, possibly even a combination of these items. We have all heard the college professor who is first year in their position, teaching a class for the first time, who is less well spoken, less quick to open the floor to questions and less skilled at carrying on discourse.

They lecture at us, not converse with us.

We all know politicians who cannot hold a two sided conversation.

We all know family and friends who cannot express what they believe.

The first step in being able to articulate is to read. We cannot speak to a thing we do not understand. Understanding can come from personal experience but even experience is a data set of one person, and one lifetime. Books allow generations past and present to communicate their lifetime of experience to us in a format we can consume. Diction and choice of words are not different. Reading fiction and nonfiction alike enable us to sample not only data ways of speaking, types of conversations, it allows us to do so at our own pace. It allows us to think and digest the way things are said. It allows us to consume more perfect expression.

Listen to people speak. They pause with verbal ticks. They will chuckle, be confused, and have odd moments of not knowing what to say.

They may tumble over their words trying to figure out cadence and order. When we read we experience writing without the “um, well, so, uh, like, and many other technically incorrect modes of speech if we wish to speak publicly, and in a manner which enables other to listen to us more clearly.

Watch the best youtuber and watch average ones. Watch the best public performances and watch average ones, and the pattern shows up time and again. To speak well requires a plethora of skills, but not the least of which, is to read.

If you want to speak well, carry yourself with confidence, be understood, and be calm under pressure when people question your public stances, then go hit the books.

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