Do you speak fast? Slow? Do you swear too much?
How about your enunciation? Do you properly pronounce syllable?
What about your vocabulary? Do you say ummm… or like too often?
Do you have a nice rhythm when you talk?
Are you low toned? Or possibly squeaky?
Besides your beauty and your looks, the way you sound can have a very big impact on the way people think of you. It can display a sense of poise or roughness. It is a very powerful way of communication that is effective and by knowing how to do so graciously really helps quite a bit!
I had talked about this in my one post 101 Ways of an Elegant Woman.
I am sure you never really thought too much about it before, but it does have a lot to do with how elegant you are. When you think of how important speaking is, you may not disregard it again!
When I think of women who have beautiful voices, Audrey Hepburn comes to mind, Kiera Knightly, and Angela Bassett just to name a few. Coincidentally, they are also very elegant woman. I have found the way they speak has a nice rhythm and their tone is also pleasant to the ears. Usually you could listen to them for hours just speak about anything. Be that woman!
Want to know how to sound like an elegant woman….
Build your vocabulary.
By reading a lot of different variety of books really helps to improve your vocabulary. You see how words are use. It also helps to freshen up your memory of words not used very much.
I have an app on my phone that gives me a different word each day. That is only half the work. I am a person who needs to write things down in order to remember, (you can imagine how sore my wrist was in university!) So after I see my new word of the day, I write it down and think of how to use it in a sentence.
Yes, I suppose this is slightly geeky of me, but I enjoy learning!
But this really helps me remember the word and know how to use it properly.
If reading or getting an app isn’t your cup of tea, try watching intellectual movies, watch BBC, listen to non-raunchy talk radio…(so no Howard Stern!)
The point of this is not sound like you are better than someone else. You are not learning new words to make yourself sound smarter. No. Instead it is to prepare you if someone does say something that you can now understand. It is also to not dumb yourself down just to fit in to our society.
- find new words to use everyday and use them
- try to find the perfect time to use them, without sounding condescending
2. Stop talking with slang/curse words
I think there is nothing more unattractive than when a beautiful woman goes to speak, and curse words just come out. F this and F that, it gets hard to listen to. There really isn’t any other faster way to sound more stupid than to speak with every adjective being a curse word. There really is no need for it, seeing as you can always replace them with other words.
People will not take you seriously if you are constantly throwing around slang and swear words. Again, another way to just dumb yourself down.
It looks very immature and many people will dismiss you as someone credible, and being elegant couldn’t be further away.
Using slang is also frowned upon because many people don’t always know what they mean. Especially people like myself! I’m not that old and haven’t been out of school for TOO long, but when some teens speak today I have google what they are saying. Pretty embarrassing!
Slang words can go out of style (ie: take a chill pill or my bad), so like everything else I stand for, be timeless and that way you’ll never sound outdated!
- find substitute of swear words
- bust balls = bust chops
- son of a b* = son of a gun …son of a…(and not finish)
- don’t find the need to use slang words, use more intelligent words
- instead of dis, use insult
- instead of ain’t or reckon use am not and I believe
- find substitute of swear words
3. Think before you speak, and finish your thought
It always drives me crazy when someone begins a sentence and doesn’t finish it. Or is unsure of themselves and just fill in the silence with ummmm…. ughhh….. and any other sound they seem fit. Then you ask them “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the last part.” and their response is “Oh nothing….”
It just makes me cringe!
It’s hard to sound elegant with all that babbling.
Before you speak, try to quickly plan out what you’re going to say and where you’re going with your thought. The more you practice this, the easier and more natural it will become. Trust me, when you pause and think before you speak you won’t pause for that long. Don’t be worried that you’re going to look like an airhead or you don’t understand.
You automatically will be absorbing what they are saying as they talk, but this also means you must be paying full attention to the one you’re talking to.
- try to think of exactly how you will answer a question about what you’re going to say, and if it still makes sense
- think of exactly what you want to say, and then think of how you want to word it…then speak
- In a conversation, before you say something, ask yourself a few questions… “Is what I am going to say, going to add anything worthwhile to the conversation?
- “Will I regret saying this after I say it?”
- “Can what I am about to say get misconstrued or taken out of context?”
- “If this gets repeated, will it come to hurt me later?”If you answer yes to any of these, then might I suggest you just keep quiet. Again, sometimes silence really is the best answer.
4. Slow down and enunciate
This is something that I really had to struggle with when I was younger. I just talk really fast. Since then, I have worked on it and I still do to this day. When I get very excited it happens where I have to tell myself to stop. Calm down. Then to talk slowly!
It’s sometimes a battle I lose, but then that means I just have to work harder at it. I usually always win in the end!
Not only did I talk fast, I also slurred all my words. I guess when I was younger, it would be really hard to understand anything I was saying! I still would never have a career in broadcasting, but I am much easier to listen to now!
I found by periodically clearing my mouth of extra saliva really helped to enunciate everything properly. This does help quite a bit!
- calm down by slowing your breathing
- remind yourself to relax and to slow down everything (even movements)
- be more in the moment
- think of how crazy you must look when you are talking so fast and no one can understand
- if you’re unsure if you talk fast or slur, tape yourself while you talk and see where you need to improve
5. Watch your tone. Don’t be shrill.
I read that once Audrey Hepburn tried her hardest not to sound so high pitched because it was thought to be off-putting to men. Well I can say, that my voice can get very high pitched and I am sure it is not very lovely!
To keep your voice and a nice tone does take some work. It is constant remembering to not necessarily stay monotone, but to keep it at a decibel that is pleasing to listen to. It is entirely possible to change your tone, it really takes time and also discipline when every time you speak you are aware of your voice. Not only what you are saying but also how you are saying it.
- every time you speak remember to lower your pitch – trust me, it will all come naturally before you know it
- if you have certain sayings that you say higher, for me it was “but how” or “what are you talking about”. I was able to pin point when I speak like this and because I was more aware of it I was able to stop it before it happened.
6. Watch your volume.
Especially when you are indoors! This one may be the most important one of them all. When you are near others, you should always respect their space and not speak too loudly for everyone to hear everything. I understand a few sentences that they can hear. But your whole conversation should only be heard by the one that it is meant for.
The same goes for when on the cell phone. It is no one’s business about what goes on in your life or your friend’s.
It really takes away from you graciousness and your charm when you are so loud that everyone can hear your stories or your voice. Just remember, even if you think you’re quiet, people can always hear you and it is important to always use discretion. If that means speaking quietly, do so. If that means not talking at all, do that!
- this is very simple, just quiet down… if you must pretend that you need to whisper all the time until you can find the perfect volume to speak in
- when you are out in public, remind yourself that you do not want others to hear you, and then you will stop talking loudly to others
- speak to the person you are wanting to speak with when they come closer or at least in a reasonable space
7. Do you have a rhythm when you speak?
Do you ever find someone to who is speaking so lovely that you just want them to keep speaking because you just admire how they talk? I am not referring to their accent, but also to the way they speak.
This one can distinguish you from other people around you. Find your personal rhythm and stick to it. Does it have a lovely ring at the end of the sentence or is it more slow?
You most likely already have a rhythm already and you might not even be aware of it. Just try to listen to it now and keep enhancing it. Let it be your signature and people will admire that about you. Like Audrey Hepburn, it is something we all remember about her.
- pay attention to how you speak, listen to how you say a sentence, once you notice it you can try to work on it and make it more flattering
- see where it may need improvements and try to fix them
- remember this is what people will remember most about you
8. Be polite and use the words often
Please, thank you, you’re welcome, hello, good bye…these might arguably might be the most important words in the English language!
I believe the world would be a better place if everyone followed at least this one! I find that people forget these words so often that it is irritating! How hard is it to say thank you or please, yet the reaction is huge! When you show gratitude, it makes other people feel happy for doing something for you.
Don’t even underestimate the power of being polite! It really does get you to where you need to be. People will respond better to you. If you ever are getting frustrated or angry, use your manners even more and it can help to diffuse the situation before it gets worse.
It is sad that it is rarely used anymore. However, the upside is that when you are using them, you will stand out and people will remember and respect you more for it. Don’t let a moment pass you by when you can say thank you or please. Like anything else, get into the habit of saying these little magic words (they were refereed to magic words when we were young for a reason!)
Any woman can be beautiful, but a woman cannot be elegant without manners.
- use the words as frequent as possible
- be sincere when using them
- don’t ever think you can’t say thank you enough
- you’re always more elegant when saying thank you rather than short form it
- “it’s nothing” should only be used with friends
9. Don’t interrupt anyone when speaking,
I don’t care if you think what you have to say is more important or meaningful to the conversation, it is never appropriate to cut someone off in the middle of a sentence. We learned this as children when our parents would give us that look when we tried to tell them something when they were in the middle of having an ‘adult’ conversation. This still rings true today!
I read somewhere that constantly cutting people off is rooted in the fear of not being heard. Possibly if this is you, and by finding that you do have a little fear that no one is listening to you, see if that is really true or not.
You may literally have to bite your tongue for this one, this one is a really hard habit to break! But again, if it stems from a bigger problem, then we may need to fix that one first.
- wait until no one is talking to say what you need
- if you find that old habits die hard, then apologize for cutting them off and tell them to carry on, only after they are done you can speak
- remember what you’re saying is probably not important enough to be cutting off anyone
- if you’re worried that you might cut someone off, wait until they ask for your comment
10. Know the power of silence
Sometimes, the moment calls for nothing. There doesn’t need to be a response, or your two-cents or even your opinion. Sometimes, the moment needs just your full attention thinking about what is being said.
Let me tell you, this one is SO much harder then you would think. Have you ever been in a situation where there is silence and you do not interrupt it by saying something? It really does take a bit to get used to.
This one really does feel good though after you do it a few times. People will love that you aren’t just filling silence with meaningless words. This one I used to struggle with, and to be honest I still do but I promise you it really does come easier! It does and I feel like a more elegant woman because of it! I don’t just fill awkward silence with careless conversation.
- when not sure how to respond, say nothing
- if someone is seeking too much and you don’t know how to give it, say nothing
- if there is an awkward silence, smile and say nothing
- be confident in your decision to say nothing and it will just make it that much sweeter!
So there you have it!
But before I let you go, le me add in here a book that I think you’ll absolutely love! It’s called the Elegant Warrior (affiliate link)! This gives some really great tips is a great read for when searching for something!
A few tips on how to sound like an elegant woman. Practice them and you too will sound more poised as you speak. It takes practice but I promise you…it’s totally worth it!
Let me know how you do down below. I would love to hear any comments you have or any experiences where you needed to work on your elegant sound!
Until next time
Keep it elegant!
This is not a sponsored post