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Clarity of Speech Reflects Clarity of Purpose

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Mar 11, 2015

Clarity of Speech Reflects Clarity of Purpose 

I was a shy, quiet girl in my childhood. My family and relatives urged me to speak more, they would often say, "Ritika, we haven't heard your voice yet." And I'd move away, unsure, reluctant, hiding behind my mother's sari... not really knowing what to say and why.

In my later years too, I was always more of a listener than a speaker. Someone had to keep the balance right! I also felt I gained more value that way. There was so much to learn from the voices around me. I was in absorption mode you could say, a sponge for what other people had to say.

Becoming a journalist and interviewer only reinforced my approach. I was on the receiving end. I asked questions and waited patiently for the answers. I paid attention, took notes, probed deeper. But all with an aim to allow the other person to talk some more.

My job was to tell the other person's story. I was merely a sutradhar, a narrator. And to top it all, my medium was the written one. I was sure my penmanship would take care of the rest.

Be sure, be clear... Listen here...

And so I kept my voice to myself. Of course I used it functionally, I networked, I promoted my work, I represented my company and I spoke my mind when needed at meetings and otherwise. But all along not once did I pay attention to the real power of the spoken word.

I always felt my intelligence, kindness, clarity of intent and hard work would do the trick. Little did I realise that to be a good leader, it helps to be a good speaker. What I knew in my head or wrote was not enough, I had to talk about what I knew.

I had to put power in my words. I had to give wings to my views. I had to convey my thoughts across in a meaningful way. I had to make an impact in my conversations. But most importantly, I had to speak slowly and clearly.

Because clarity of thought shows clarity of purpose. And yes, it can be as simple as that. Why, because the one who talks clearly is the one who knows her mind. She is not afraid to put money where her mouth is.

The philosopher Descartes once said, "I think, therefore I am". I take this a step further and say -- I speak, therefore I believe.

What you say is thus a reflection of what you believe in. People talk because they have a point of view and they feel strongly about sharing it. They aren't afraid to be quoted and held to their words.

You take a man for his words right? You hold him to them. He becomes accountable. He stands by what he says. And he eventually becomes a man of his words.

Speaking and speaking clearly is by far one of the most powerful tools of a good leader. It is a skill that puts you above the rest. And like most other skills, it's one that needs working on, for it to be effective and impactful.

Recently, I attended a yoga camp by a proponent of the Bihar School of Yoga, for the second time round. And do you know the single reason that I gave people when they asked me why I repeated the course? I loved listening to the yogi's voice. Not only was he clear but his voice was full of conviction and knowledge.

He spoke with mindfulness, he chanted mantras in full power and he engaged us in meaningful conversations. There was not a minute of his 90 minutes that I didn't pay attention to. That was the command of his voice and the power of his communication.

All good speakers may not be good leaders. But many good leaders are good speakers or orators. Their command over the language, clear diction, ability to spice up each conversation with story-telling, add extra flavour to their interactions.

Some of the most motivating leaders have had the most animated voices. They infuse passion and drive in their audiences. Their speeches stir their employees to perform better. Leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru urged a whole nation to action at that historic midnight hour.

But what does it take to be an effective speaker and communicator. What are the aspects you should pay attention to? How do you train your voice to sound both clear and forceful, without shouting, without being too soft and demure, but still making your point, retaining your personality, still paying attention to your audience, reading their mind occasionally, filling in the blank spaces, ending on a good note?

All this and more, coming up in the next podcast. But before that I leave you with this video, by one of the best voices in India - Amitabh Bachchan. His message is one of purpose, he wants the doubting India to convert into a strong-willed action-driven India...

When you'll listen to him, you'll know exactly the power of a voice and the clarity of purpose.

 
 

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34 Responses to "Clarity of Speech Reflects Clarity of Purpose"

Prakash

04 Mar, 2016

Having a golden voice , like say Amitabh Bachchan , fitted into an un-noticeable personality does not bring about results though ! The end result is an amalgam of striking personality , golden voice , delivery style and body language and NOT just the "Clarity of Speech" only ! A dark-skinned and/or thin/pigmy statured personality with 100% clarity of speech can rarely succeed most of the time ! There may be exceptions like Gandhiji , Adolf Hitler but those are far and few , particularly the latter whose fiery rhetorical speeches made him a one-man show despite his short stature and below average personality ! But here we are not talking about such exceptions but about larger audience !

Terence Verma

25 Feb, 2016

When clarity is buttressed with emotion then the impact of the delivery is intensified many fold. Thus, Mr Bachchan has a powerful style of delivery, and there is no gainsaying that he shakes you up when he delivers his dialogues in Hindi.

sailesh

29 Jun, 2015

Amazing, to say the least! I am speechless reading and hearing these words.

Like (1)

SHARATH CHANDRA

21 Mar, 2015

A person who is having a clear idea perception and knowledge about a matter can only have a clear and authentic speech. One has to develop these things to be a good speaker and a good leader. Wonderful article.

Belinda

16 Mar, 2015

A powerful message beautifully presented and spoken.

Like (1)

Vinay

15 Mar, 2015

Once again a simple but meaningful article.

Like (1)

jayant

15 Mar, 2015

i like the article very much

Ravichandran.B

14 Mar, 2015

Innovative & Inspirational attempt. Hats Off...!

Like (1)

Bibhu

12 Mar, 2015

Good one and keep posting these motivations... Wow

SJ

12 Mar, 2015

I find this as one of your finest pieces....a real "piece de resistance". So refreshingly different and incredibly enjoyable. I had to hear it more than once..... You seem to keep raising the bar....keep up the great work.

Suriakumar Varma

12 Mar, 2015

Thanks a lot for simple but elegant sweet and clear voice and it was what I was searching for sometime.These words will certainly help me in my job as Zonal Manager

joginder bakshi

12 Mar, 2015

A very inspiring voice along with simulating words to infuse the power of speech.i don't know it must have taken many hours of hard work to put proper words at the proper place.Every idea or line spoken is programmed chronologically. it is said pen is mighter than sword,but present age of technical advanced communication system , speech issues much more powerful as it is listened by mass. At the same time the personality of speaker and his ability to influence audience by gesture or body movements and eye to eye contact adds to lot of mesmerizing the audience. Well Ratika it is a great show of yours.Next time we want to see your audial visual show. Thanks and my best wishes.with regards,joginder bakshi.

Like (1)

Turab

12 Mar, 2015

Ritika- indeed speech is the pitch of life - good article.

s.al.balu

11 Mar, 2015

what a soft speech by you and a manly voice by Mr.Amithabachan has made it clear to speak reflects clarity of speech and purpose. Everyone must try to speak softly in a commanding tone and clear voice it is a good message. Thank you.

kashinath kuntnour

11 Mar, 2015

I really understood the video so I decided to practice in life with passion

Shyam

11 Mar, 2015

Really enjoyed listening to the voice , the message and I felt the need to work at being an effective communicator. Recalled Ralp Waldo Emerson who quoted "Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense Look forward to the next podcast. Regards

SP Palaniappan

11 Mar, 2015

Clarity of purpose and clarity of thoughts are the most desired traits for good life. But in my experience I could develop them only after certain amount of experience in life. Thanks for the inspiring article and audios

Like (1)

ARUP BHATTACHARJEE

11 Mar, 2015

Very much relevant & useful...Amitabh Bachchan's video clip is is a really good example....!!

Ananda Rao

11 Mar, 2015

It is well said "all good speakers may not be good leaders but good leaders are good speakers" Leaders lose their good position of leadership once their speech becomes harsh, lack of conviction but only loud. I have been successful in my speech whenever I am slow, clear and confidence in what I say. Thanks for the guidance that rejuvenates my trait as a good speaker.

ommen kuruvilla

11 Mar, 2015

To be honest i preferred your voice to that of amitabh. Your voice had honesty and conviction, it was pure from your heart. The voice of amitabh was not from his heart but from his vocal cords. That's my honest take. Good Wishes to you.

Like (1)

Shubhendu

11 Mar, 2015

Ma'am. You are great as always. Your articles and voice clippings shape the lives of many including me. Thru' your articles I am trying to recreate mine. How inspiring!You are changing lives bit by bit. Thanks & Regards.

Like (2)

mukund

11 Mar, 2015

clarity of mind leads to clarity of speech and that alone trigger action.

diwakar deshpande

11 Mar, 2015

What do you think about mahatma Gandhi? He was not orator his voice was not forceful, he never used fancy words, actually he was having no "personality". Still he was much heard person. Voice, oratory is important but thought behind the word is more important. We haven't heard shrikrisna, vyas or valmiki but still they rule the minds of so many people.

Like (3)

Neeraj M Mehra

11 Mar, 2015

Very nicely explained the power of the Voice. I believe the conviction and authenticity only comes when you are clear, have sustained pace, have conviction and more important the "thairaav: in your speech. Looking forward for your next writings

Like (1)

Pramod Kalra

11 Mar, 2015

Clarity of speech or if I say , communication , definitely exhibits to others that you have clarity of purpose.But we still need to debate the very basis on which this clarity has come. If the assumptions , the data , the availability of info is asymmetric, this clarity may be more damaging to the self and to the team.

Aarti Aggarwal

11 Mar, 2015

Fantastic ,interesting to read and hear the voice over simultaneously..was very innovative style of reading , and a brilliant read.CLEARLY !!!!

. M A AZIZ

11 Mar, 2015

very good suggestion to improve our personality. every one must learn this skill and cultivate in one's life.

Jayeeta chattaraj

11 Mar, 2015

An inspiring audio .

Like (1)

deepakj

11 Mar, 2015

Well directed thoughts

SANJIV SINGLA

11 Mar, 2015

interesting and motivator, article and podacst. i really like and try to implement in my life style as i also shy in nature. Thanks and regards

Murali

11 Mar, 2015

Hi Rithika, One more good article rather audio clip !! I agree that Speech is one of the most effective tools of communication. More than clarity it is the choice of words that makes a speech riveting. Add to that the tone or timbre of your voice a la Bachan saab and you have the perfect recipe for a "all ears" speech. The other orator I love to hear again and again is Mr. Kalam.. the way he presents the subject... !! Being an orator of sorts - first as a faculty and then as a speaker at various events - I feel that reading vastly increases the power of your speech as they do while writing... the main difference being that in writing you have the eraser or the backspace while "on air" you dont have that luxury, reading on anything and everything creates a library or museum of words in your head that the moment a thought arises it is given "words" and the speech just flows.. about speed and clarity i think they are only secondary to your choice of words... Further, I find having an audience and watching the emotions evoked by one's words truly exhilarating and that further refines or re-defines the words that follow to the extent that it totally veers away from what the script that you had come prepared with... So much more.. but then ... :)

pradip shah

11 Mar, 2015

Brilliant . There was clarity of thought in your communication !

Like (1)

Keshav Patnaik

11 Mar, 2015

clarity of speech guides to think before speech.

a khurana

11 Mar, 2015

nice

Like (1)
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