Eloquence is a thing most spoken of but least understood! Yet, many wise brains have realized the true import of it and write and speak most aptly of it. They say that if you cannot put it in words, you simply do not know it. Therefore, it is just a cover-up when people say, “I know it, but it is hard to explain in words” or “I can’t put it in words”. If you know it, you can very well put it in words. So, to know the first thing about being articulate, you need to know that you don’t know! Confused? Here is putting it in simple words — the only way to being articulate on a subject is to gain knowledge and wisdom about it. Knowledge will only come if you are curious to know more than you already know. And that will only happen if you humbly agree to the fact that you don’t know! Therefore, it can be well assumed that humility is the first step towards articulation.
Importance Of Being Articulate
How does being articulate make you look? Everyone wants to have a good image of themselves on people around them. Being articulate makes you look knowledgeable and respectful. It is a boon for interviews and professional meetings. Below listed are a few simple rules that can help you to be articulate.
Articulation And Context
It is very important that you speak in the same context as everyone else is speaking, unless of course if you want to have a “double-eagled” conversation. Although, sometimes it is good to stand out and be noticed, you definitely wouldn’t really like to make a fool of yourself. For being in context, you should listen well to the current conversation. This helps you connect well with your listeners and address the concerns that are being discussed.
Understand The Discussion
Once you know the context of the discussion, try to figure out what others are trying to say. Here comes the crucial part of listening and comprehending the discussion and then giving your inputs carefully after contemplation. To put it in very basic terms, your words should make sense! There are times when you have something in your mind but it is slightly vague. To create a sharper picture in your mind of what is being discussed, probe for explanation. These doubts, when cleared, will leave you with a better understanding of the subject, thereby helping you to increase your knowledge.
Adding To The Conversation
It makes no sense repeating what others have said, even if it is in your own creative words. Your aim should be to add value to the conversation. If you cannot, you might rather want to keep quiet. Alternatively, you could ask certain questions to divert the discussion into a topic of your interest or expertise. However, this diversion should be extremely subtle. If not, you will look like someone who is simply desperate to hog attention or show off!
Speaking With Substance
Now, you know the context, you have understood the discussion and you know that if you speak you must add value to the conversation. For adding value, you need to know on the topic. It is important that you have enough knowledge that you can share. However, there is yet another catch to it. Read on.
Knowledge With Wisdom
Just because you have knowledge does not mean you can just blabber away. You have to use your knowledge with patience and more importantly wisdom. Observe, carefully, the people you are talking to, judge their receptivity and talk accordingly. Keep it very simple. It is not always appropriate to use big words, but important to use the right ones—avoid redundancies. If there is a need for you to think, just relax and take a silent pause. It is not necessary to fill these pauses with words like “umm, like, you know, eh, aa”. Most of the times it is good to think before you speak. However, there are times when thinking twice is a bad idea. At these times, a flow of thought can be perfectly apt. And yes, remember to be factually and grammatically correct and make complete sentences.
At the end of it, the most important thing is to be honest and credible in your speech. If credibility and honesty are your priorities, you have learnt it all there is to learn about being articulate. However, keeping these guidelines in mind may take you a step further into being articulate