So there you have it. Theresa May’s vision for the UK. Is she serious? A kind of euphoria seems to be in the air, as even those who doubt her sincerity recognise that if we are to make something of this muddle, we need to work together. Perhaps the outcome could be a better Britain. Is it achievable? That remains to be seen. It’s up to us to “make it so”.
For now, let’s concentrate on her voice. She speaks clearly and slowly. This makes her easy to understand. Remember that, if you are not 100% confident about your English. You want your listeners to understand you, don’t you? Slow down, don’t hide your mouth, speak up!
Listen to the link again and try to repeat her phrases without using words. Say “mm”. Concentrate on the intonation, the place where the stress or emphasis falls: “Mm mm MM mm MMM”. When you can do that, try using her words. Keep using the intonation you have just practised. Try to add any expression or emotion that you hear in your voice.
This is an important speech for the new Prime Minister. Imagine everything she is feeling – fear, excitement, happiness, relief, anxiety, confidence, responsibility, triumph – and try to say her words again, but this time focusing on the fear or the triumph. These are underlying emotions and she has to control them all in her voice. Try whispering her speech. Now think about speaking to the whole of Downing Street when the microphone is broken. You’ll need some deep breaths for that exercise!
Finally, put it all together. The most important thing Theresa May had to do in that speech was to inspire confidence. She had to make people trust her and believe in her. Sounding calm, professional, competent and articulate is part of that process. Can you deliver her speech the way she did?
If you can do that, I promise you will survive any meeting in English. You’ll be able to stand on a podium and speak with authority. You’ll have learned how to sound as if you know what you are talking about when speaking English.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!