Speak Distinctly

Speak Distinctly

Pig-tailed and freckle-faced, I stood next to my grandpa’s chair.

“Speak distinctly, or do-not-speak or do-not-speak at all,” he said. It was kind of a song. As a young girl, I often talked so quickly and with such a high-pitched squeak that he couldn’t understand me. To remind me, he would sing his “Speak distinctly” song.

I felt flustered when he sang the song, but I always did as he asked. I slowed down, and repeated myself clearly.

I was about 35 when he died, and I think he repeated that song almost every time I saw him, even after my squeaks modulated into a more adult sounding voice.

The song became a family joke, but it carries a truth that everyone should heed.

If you’re going to bother speaking, speak distinctly.

Choose your words carefully, use the right tone of voice for the right occasion: one that’s not too loud and not too quiet. Keep an even pace and say what you need to say.

Speak distinctly. Or don’t speak at all.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission. 

Filed As:  family, speak

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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  • As a parent of young girls I can relate to the necessity of your grandfather’s admonition. Beyond just encouraging elocution however, I think there is a lot of value in thinking about what we want to say before we say it. Sometimes it makes our message clearer. Sometimes it means we don’t need to say anything at all.

  • Thanks for posting. I completely agree with your grandfather’s viewpoint that we should always think before we speak so that we can speak something good that people around us can actually relate to and also understand than just listening to it..

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