Quick Diction Fixes

Proper diction is a vital part of your overall pageant package and can make or break your interview. Pageant judges are not only looking for a girl who has vision regarding her potential year of service, they are looking for ultimate spokeswoman for the pageant organization. A woman who will be able to handle herself during press interviews and appear in public and on camera with poise. This includes have a well developed vocabulary and speaking clearly without common slang terms.

Most people have no idea they aren't speaking clearly. They don't even realize they are mispronouncing common words in their every day speech pattern The best way to correct your diction during interviews is to correct your diction in everyday life. Make an effort to speak clearly and choose your words wisely no matter who you are speaking with.

Here are some common mispronunciations:

"Exspecially" has NO "X" in it. Especially, with an "S" is the word.

"Coulda, woulda, shoulda" is of course should be could have, would have, should have.

"Probly" is missing a syllable. It should be probably....pro-bab-ly.

"I dunno" is I don't know.

"Wanna" is want to

"Gonna" is going to.

"Cuz" is because.

"Havta" is have to.

"Imporent" is Important.

"Uzshly" is usually.

"Artic" is arctic

Let's talk about what a "plosive" is. A plosive is a consonant sound that requires air to make the sound like d/t/p/b/ch for instance. When used to start a word like"dance" or "box," it's usually no problem. We hear the sound. But when in the middle or end of a word, the sound is often dropped. A good example is the word "important." Most people drop both the middle and final "t." Practice identifying where these plosives are and make an extra effort to use the sound.

Here are some tongue twisters to help you.

  • Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
  • A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk.
  • Unique New York.
  • The big beautiful blue balloon burst.
  • Smelly shoes and socks shock sisters.
  • Cinnamon, aluminum, linoleum.
  • New York is unanimously universally unique. 
  • Cooks cook cupcakes quickly.
  • Flora's freshly fried fish.
  • Hiccup, teacup.
  • Six crisp snacks.
  • Sister Susie sewing shirts for soldiers.
  • Tacky tractor trailer trucks.
  • Freckle-faced Freddie fidgets.
  • Buy blue blueberry biscuits before bedtime.
They are a bit silly, but you will probably find them to be harder than they look. Take some time to slowly practice these tongue twisters. Make sure you are making every consonant sound and pronouncing each syllable. Once you have them slow, gradually speed them up and see how fast you can go without making a mistake.

In my opinion, diction and the lack there of can ruin an interview.  You don't want this simple, very fixable habit cause you to lose points in interview. Take the time to study and practice. If necessary, employ speech coach who can help you remedy this issue.

Remember, practice and repetition are the key to proper diction. This is something you can practice anywhere. Use car time to practice your tongue twisters! I've never met a successful pageant girl who wasn't a great multi-tasker.

Good luck!

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