I can sometimes be guilty of thinking of articulation only as it applies to individual sounds, and over conversational phrases. It is an effective method for making certain that clarity exists in diction. However, it ignores the very musical qualities inherent to language.
Articulation is more completely about fluidity and coherence in communication. That flow comes from letting each word bloom into its nature and its importance. Take, for example, this sentence courtesy of the Harvard Sentences:
The boy was there when the sun rose.
All of these words are not equal. It is about something. Is the boy more important than the sun? Is it more important that he was there, or that the sun rose? Is the important point not any of those things but when they happened? It is contextual but these choices also create the melody of this simple phrase. Whole presentations have melody within clusters of words, longer phrases, and paragraphs that create a greater “song.”
Once you have the shape, applying airflow to constructing it as one fluid thought is the work of being articulate. It is also what breathes life into language.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.