Elocution lessons may seem a tad old-fashioned, but due to the advent of technology, they are now recognised as one of the top methods for enhancing one's speaking abilities, growth in public speaking, and/or accent modification.
What are elocution lessons?
Speech and elocution lessons are designed to hone your speaking abilities with a special emphasis on articulation, diction, pronunciation, and communication skills. These lessons can also involve accent modification or reduction towards Received Pronunciation (RP). Elocution is about mastering the English language—a highly valuable skill regardless of your profession. It can be customised according to individual requirements, aiming to enhance the clarity and comprehensibility of speech.
The British Council, amongst many other organisations, recognises the significance of elocution and has developed various resources to aid in its learning. These resources include online tutorials, free downloadable material, and even classes. Elocution lessons can bolster your confidence, polish your public speaking abilities, and potentially assist you in landing your dream job. With the right guidance and resources, you can make remarkable progress and speak with clarity and conviction.
Here's a sneak peak of James talking about what the terms elocution means from our free course, Elocution Essentials:
How can elocution lessons help you?
Speech and elocution lessons can aid in various ways depending on your objectives for coaching. They can improve your communication skills by teaching you to speak with more clarity and confidence. Lessons can also assist you in voice projection, allowing you to be heard in larger settings, such as boardrooms or classrooms. Elocution lessons can enhance your vocabulary, reduce your accent, and refine your pronunciation. They can also help you understand the structure of the English language and be more aware of your intonation and inflection.
The significant benefits of elocution coaching encompass:
- Articulation enhancement
- Diction refinement
- Vocabulary expansion
- Confidence building
- Body language awareness
- Accent modification/reduction/neutralisation
- Pronunciation improvement
- Public speaking skills development
- Negotiation skills development
- Communication skills development
- Presentation skills development
- Interview technique improvement
While this list is extensive, it's essential to distinguish between elocution lessons and Speech & Language Therapy. You can refer to our article here for a better comprehension of the two terms.
The Origin of Elocution Lessons
Elocution, once regarded as one of the five core disciplines of pronunciation, emerged in the 18th Century. Thomas Sheridan, one of the early pioneers of elocution, lectured on the subject, giving instructions on reading and speaking aloud passages of text. Elocution, well-esteemed by many, is considered one of the most critical parts of pronunciation.
Fast forward to the 20th century, elocution lessons were commonplace in schools to aid in the improvement of students' speech—conjuring images of blackboards, chalk, drills, and canes! While elocution lessons are less common in the school curriculum today, they've gained popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Many people sought to boost their confidence after a year of limited social interaction and fewer face-to-face work meetings.
More recently, elocution lessons have adapted to today's digital world, with numerous teachers and companies offering online courses and workshops. Various motivations drive people to take elocution lessons, such as enhancing their communication skills or perfecting their accent. Regardless of the reason, it's evident that elocution lessons remain as crucial as ever.
What is taught during elocution lessons?
The content of elocution training largely depends on your objectives and reasons for seeking such tuition; however, you can anticipate exercises that engage your oral skills, involve reading passages of text, and stimulate impromptu speaking!
If your goal with elocution lessons is to enhance your articulation and diction, then your focus will be on building strength in your articulators while also improving their agility. This training may incorporate exercises such as drilling, tongue twisters, and specific mouth and tongue exercises.
If your ambition is to soften your accent with elocution lessons, you'll be working on not just strengthening your articulators, but also developing the shape of your mouth, its elongation, and the placement of your sounds, in comparison to Received Pronunciation (RP).
If your interest in elocution lessons lies in developing your public speaking skills, then your focus will extend beyond just strengthening your articulators, to also honing your ability to speak fluently, read body language, engage your audience, and utilise storytelling techniques.
Each of these activities can be tailored to your personal requirements, and as you progress, you can expect to find yourself speaking with increased confidence and articulation. Elocution lessons are about boosting your self-esteem and enhancing your communication skills, as you gain a deeper understanding of the English language and the potential of your voice.
How do I decide where to take elocution lessons?
It's absolutely crucial to choose the right provider when considering elocution lessons, either for adults or children. When researching places to take elocution lessons, ensure to investigate what kind of lessons they offer, and whether they are tailored to your personal needs.
Taking the time to research and ask pertinent questions will guarantee that you're receiving the best elocution lessons for your personal requirements. For obvious reasons, working with a reputable company provides you the added benefit of a whole team of individuals dedicated to assisting your progress. The other alternative is to seek out an individual coach or tutor, which you can do via websites such as Superprof and FirstTutors.
What if you want to work with The Elocution Coach?
We are currently accepting applications for our 1:1 coaching programmes. There are also plenty of self-guided options available for those who prefer that route.
To apply for a free Discovery Call, click here. This complimentary call will assist in identifying which of our coaching programmes would be the best fit for you and your needs. During the call, you'll be able to ask any questions you may have about the programme and receive advice from one of our experienced coaches. These free calls are an excellent opportunity to understand better what our coaching programmes have to offer and help you decide which option suits you best.
What if I'm unsure whether elocution is right for me?
If you're uncertain whether elocution is the right path for you, we do offer several affordable options which might be a useful starting point, such as The Elocution Club or our Access Membership. These self-led programmes allow you to experience the benefits of elocution coaching first-hand, and assist in your decision on whether or not it's the right course for you.
The Elocution Club is designed to offer a taste of the power of elocution coaching before committing to a full programme. If you're still in doubt, we also recommend applying for a free Discovery Call. This will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your individual needs and objectives with one of our coaches, and they can help you figure out which of our programmes will be most suitable for you.
We understand that deciding to invest in elocution coaching can be a significant decision. That's why many of our self-led options are designed to allow you to experience the benefits of elocution first.
What if I have no prior experience of elocution?
Don't worry if you have no prior experience with elocution. Our programs are designed to be accessible and beneficial to individuals of all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to build your confidence in speaking or an experienced speaker wanting to refine your skills, our coaching can be tailored to meet your unique needs.
If you're new to elocution, we recommend starting with one of our beginner-friendly options. For example, our Elocution Club is an excellent place to start for those with no prior experience. It provides a safe, supportive environment where you can practice and develop your elocution skills at your own pace.
What are the benefits of taking elocution lessons?
The benefits of elocution lessons extend far beyond improving your speech and pronunciation. Here are just a few of the potential benefits you could experience from our coaching programs:
Increased Confidence: One of the most significant benefits of elocution lessons is the increase in confidence you can experience. By learning to articulate your thoughts and express yourself clearly, you can feel more comfortable speaking in a variety of situations, from everyday conversations to professional presentations.
Enhanced Communication Skills: Elocution lessons can also enhance your overall communication skills. You'll learn how to structure your thoughts, use the right tone and pitch, and make the most of body language to communicate effectively.
Improved Public Speaking: If you often find yourself speaking in front of groups, whether for work or other activities, elocution lessons can significantly improve your public speaking skills. You'll learn techniques for engaging your audience, maintaining their interest, and delivering your message effectively.
Career Advancement: In many professions, strong communication skills are key to career advancement. By improving your elocution, you can make a positive impression in interviews, meetings, and presentations, potentially opening up new career opportunities.
Personal Development: Finally, elocution lessons can contribute to your personal development. By working on your speech, you'll also develop discipline, patience, and a greater appreciation for the power of language.
Here's a sneak peak of James talking about the benefits of elocution training from our free course, Elocution Essentials:
Whether you're interested in softening your accent, refining your public speaking skills, or just want to become a more effective communicator, elocution lessons can offer a variety of benefits. At The Elocution Coach, we're committed to helping individuals discover their voice and communicate with confidence. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to learn more about our programs or schedule a free Discovery Call.