People who love gardening often spend all winter planning what they'll grow in the spring. They pore over seed catalogs and websites, plot out their flower or vegetable beds on paper, and put aside money for new plants, mulch, and all the other necessary materials to make their garden beautiful and prosperous.
Have you ever thought about tending to your speech the way you'd tend to a garden?
Well, I'm issuing you a challenge!
For Better Hearing and Speech month, we're talking about how your communication takes care... the kind of care that would go into the planning and maintenance of a lush and healthy garden.
What does it look like to “grow a speech garden” with care?
Any gardener knows that weeds will take over your garden in no time if left to grow! They become harder to uproot as they get bigger. The same is true for your speech: an unhelpful sound left unchecked will make you harder to understand, and will take more work to “unlearn” the longer you continue to use it.
Garden beds need nutrients in the form of fertilizer or compost – and of course watering – to ensure healthy plants and growth. Your American accent can benefit from similar care... so practice the sounds you know are working.
Gardeners are always looking to include new specimens in their gardens – perhaps an heirloom vegetable variety they've never grown, or an exciting new hybrid of their favorite flower. When your correct sounds become strong enough that you don't have to focus on them as much anymore, you can more easily introduce the next batch of sounds that need more work.
So, how do you know which sounds to focus on?
In this video from awhile back, I explain more about how your clear speech is like a garden you must maintain, and how important an individual speech coach or listener is.
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