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Becoming more articulate.


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  • Becoming more articulate.

    For those of you that consider yourself articulate or have at least noticed a good improvement in that area, how did you sharpen those skills? Are you naturally good at talking and explaining or did things such as books, situations or certain job experiences help you to become more articulate?

  • #2
    Read a lot.
    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/


    • #3
      I guess that depends on what you mean by articulate. In LE-related situations? In general conversation? In writing?

      In work-related situations, I've learned the fine art of BS through experience. I've got a "game face" I use on the street...very different from my day-to-day personality. Extremely confident. I can talk to anybody about anything on the street and, for the most part, convince them that I know that the heck I'm talking about (many times, I don't have a clue, but that's not the point...it's true if you can convince somebody else that it's true).

      Off duty, I'm a very different person. I'm relatively quiet around strangers. I can still speak intelligently on a miriad of topics, and that's from alot of reading, but my demeanor is much less confident.

      In writing, I've always been able to express myself. Whether that's from some kind of genetic predisposition (my mom says I was very articulate in writing from a young age), or whether it's from reading and my desire to learn new things (something else that, apparently, manifested at a young age), I don't know.
      "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
      -Friedrich Nietzsche


      • #4
        Thanks for the response Bing Oh.


        • #5
          The job I do, day to day, has made me a smarter person.

          Although I've always been able to shoot the breeze, get along with people and elaborate on intelligent conversations though. That part came naturally, and I supose that's how I BS'ed my way into a LE job in the first place.

          If you want to get smarter, I would suggest college. Don't pick a major though, take a little bit of everything if you can, that will wise you up in every field. You may be articulate though, and not even know it yet, wait awile, life experience does wonders.

          Good luck, and best wishes...
          "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy


          • #6
            There used to be a group called Toastmasters, where they held lunchon meetings and each member had to give a speech. That would be a good place to start.
            As for reading, pick quality books and study the use of language. Churchill was a master of language. There are even some movies that use language well - 'National Treasure' for example. Watch it more than once, to notice the precision with which they speak.
            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
            John Stuart Mill


            • #7
              I wonder if 'articulate' is the word you're looking for. According to the dictionary, these are the common definitions of articulate:
              Endowed with the power of speech.
              Composed of distinct, meaningful syllables or words, as human speech.
              Expressing oneself easily in clear and effective language: an articulate speaker.
              Characterized by the use of clear, expressive language: an articulate essay

              If that is, in fact, what you mean, there are several way to increase your articulation:

              1. Read as much as possible, from a variety of sources on many subject matters.

              2. Record yourself speaking, then study the recordings. Pay special attention to verbal pauses (uh, um), dropping letters or even syllables (I'm goin' to the store) and your verbal pacing (just about everyone can slow down their speech patterns -- it allows you to focus on better speaking and you're better able to think about what you're going to say before you say it.

              3. Consult with a speech or diction coach.

              4. Join an organization like Toastmasters to not only improve your articulation but your public speaking abilities in general.

              5. Read out loud, focusing on proper pronunciations and enunciation.

              If you didn't really mean 'articulate', but something else...then the first step would be to start using a dictionary.
              Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


              • #8
                That is a good question/topic. I came by it somewhat naturally. While I must say that since college, my ability to speak articulately have somewhat declined, I'm still far ahead of my co-workers, friends, etc.

                I'm particularly good at public speaking. While it isn't my most favorite thing to do, I can handle speaking in front of a large group of people pretty well. In all seriousness, I participated in Boy Scouts and FFA and I firmly believe that both of those organizations helped prepare me for public speaking, report writing, college, etc.

                My mother is a librarian and when I was growing up I was forced to read a lot. These days I try to read a 700 or 800 page novel per month. When I worked in the jail I was quick to pick up on inmate slang and when mixed with my "linguistic abilities" it could sometimes simply astound inmates or completely defuse a volatile situation. I've also recieved written letters in my personnel file for my well-constructed reports.
                AJ Clapp



                • #9
                  Pay attention. When you see/hear a new word, write it down and look it up.
                  Make sure you use it correctly. There is no surer sign of ignorance than when a word is used in the wrong way. I keep a dictionary near my television, and look up a word almost every week. I also do crossword puzzles. Believe it or not, that helps.

                  Read a lot. You'll learn new, clever, interesting ways of expressing yourself if your reading well-written material.

                  You probably have a larger vocbulary than you realize. When the opportubnity presents itself, make use of that by choosing words carefully.
                  Last edited by SlowDownThere; 05-30-2006, 08:28 PM.
                  You can now follow me on twitter.


                  • #10
                    see man, what you done need do is read one dem hard book thangs.

                    All joking aside, you can get SAT prep computer CD roms for like 10 bucks at office max or any other office store. That will expose you to new words. Boring, but it will work.


                    • #11
                      Short of telling you that it just comes with experience, read. A lot. Being well spoken, articulate or "sounding smart" is best accomplished by reading literature of decent quality. I'm not saying you need to go out and read Aristotle (though it wouldn't hurt), but reading a romance novel or the latest copy of Field and Stream won't improve your vocabulary or reasoning skills as much as a well written book.

                      It will also greatly improve your writing skills and you general knowledge of the world. It's not going to happen over night, but start reading consistently and after a while you'll notice drastic improvement in your communication ability.
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