What is Elocution?
The term elocution relates to one’s speaking style. It refers mostly to a speaker’s way of speech when speaking or reading aloud in public. It may also be defined as the study of public speaking, with special emphasis on pronunciation, grammar, and style. Elocution requires clear and expressive speech, unique pronunciation, articulation, accent, emphasis, inflections, and gestures.
In Western classical rhetoric, it was regarded as one of the five canons of classical rhetoric. The skill of giving speeches was explicitly referred to as elocution. Classical orators were taught not only to develop perfect diction and delivery, but also the right posture, gestures, and attire.
What are the Fundamentals of Elocution?
Elocution contains several fundamental factors. These are typically known as articulation, inflection, accent, voice, and gesture.
Articulation relates to the appropriate pronunciation of spoken sounds.
Inflection refers to the pitch or tone of the orator’s voice, as well as its modulation.
Accent is the stress given on a certain syllable, word, or phrase as opposed to the absence of emphasis on other surrounding syllables or portions of the sentence. Accent does not reflect any textual marking or regional pronunciation of a specific language.
Voice relates to the quality, clarity, and effectiveness of what is being spoken or communicated.
Gesture, of course, refers to any movement of the body that occurs in conjunction with a spoken word, particularly one meant to accentuate or help in the conveyance of the spoken word.
An example may be used to explain the concepts of elocution as they were studied and understood in the 16th century. Assume an orator enters a podium in a shabby attire, stands slouching and motionless during his speech, and yet delivers the speech with proper intonation and volume, good language, and a rich tone of voice. In terms of criticism, we may state that the orator used good elocution because the sound of his speech was acceptable. However, the orator would not have displayed good delivery of his speech or pronuntiatio since he was visually uninteresting and unremarkable.
What are the Advantages of Elocution Classes?
- Your communication will be straightforward and easy to follow. Articulation exercises and learning how to pronounce vowels and diphthongs are part of elocution classes.
- By emphasizing sentences and using pauses, you can make your messages more specific and effective. Working on stresses and pauses is another crucial aspect of elocution classes. You will learn which words to emphasize and which to “throw away,” as actors say. You’ll also see how effective the usage of pause can be.
- You will understand how to properly breathe to raise the volume or strength of your voice. Elocution classes can guide you if you are concerned that your voice is too soft. This is especially helpful when people frequently ask you to repeat what you said because they cannot hear you.
- You will develop good posture. One of the foundations of breathing is posture. During elocution classes, you will learn the essential steps in improving your posture. For starters, you will be asked to stand in a balanced stance, feet firmly planted on the floor and slightly apart, knees and hips relaxed, and shoulders relaxed and free of tension. Feel your spine straightening and your head balanced on your neck, as if it were connected to the ceiling by a piece of elastic coming from the top.
- You will sound more confident and become more self-assured as a person. By teaching good posture and confident speaking, it’s safe to say that elocution courses can help you improve your whole image. This can open doors to more opportunities in your personal and professional lives.
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