My thick Haitian accent was difficult to understand. My powers
of communication were extremely limited. So, what did I do to go
from where I was to where I am today? It was a simple but diligent
plan of action. It required time and effort. In these lessons, I
believe, are essential keys for professional speakers at any level to
improve our powers of persuasion.
Here are the steps I took to turn ignorance
Tongue Twisters. Whoever invented the tongue twisters deserves
an award. I think whether you are an American or are learning
English as a second language, you owe it to yourself to purchase a tongue-twisters book. The tongue is like any muscle in
the body. It needs a warm up before the workout—the speech.
Storytelling classes. Early on, before I even started speaking,
I learned that stories are more powerful than facts. Audiences
relate to stories. I read several books on the subject. I took
many training classes from different experts in the field.
Acting Classes. Since eloquence requires a certain degree
of performance, I took a series of acting classes.
Modeling Classes. When I left Haiti, I didn’t own a suit. Needless to say, I knew nothing about fashion. I learned much of it
at the Waverly Renaissance Hotel from observing those who
were dressed for success. But I wanted to deepen my understanding of fashion and style so I took a three-month class at
a well-known modeling school.
Speech Training Course. One of the best investments I
made was to enroll in a six-week, speech-training class. I
thought my classmates were going to be immigrants. I was
wrong. In fact, I was the only foreigner in the class. I practiced the breathing techniques, voice modulation and
tongue exercises day and night.