This neat little trick is used by speakers, actors and singers alike - improve your diction with a wine cork! Even if you don't think you really need it, give it three minutes and see for yourself. Record yourself saying a couple of lines before you start to compare! Ready? Gently bite down on the cork with your front teeth and practice your speech. Careful not to bite down on the cork too hard nor to open your jaw too wide, we don't want excessive muscle tension! The space between your front teeth should be roughly 1.5cm/0.6in. A great way to check if you're biting down too hard is to take your thumb instead of the cork and speak your lines. You'll see quite quickly if you need to bite a little more gently ;-) Then take the cork again and practice for a couple of minutes as long as you don't feel any strain on your jaw. Once you remove the cork and speak the lines normally (record yourself again), can you notice the difference in clarity?
Next time you or your friends happen to WINE down after a long week of work, save the cork and use it to take your diction to the next level!
Tired of being too repetitive? Or of feeling like you might not sound as sophisticated with your words as you'd like to? For that extra nudge on eloquence, why not try and replace some of your most repeated words with Thesaurus. Make sure the synonym fits the content et voilà!
This one's for my fellow multilingual speakers: choose your language combination on dict.cc for when you're missing the word. They're constantly updating their dictionary database. You can also download the app and use it offline - pretty useful for that rural spot during your next holiday trip!
For that last-minute piece of text you need to translate... please know that Google Translate is the McDonald's of translation services. It's great to use if you're on holiday and need to find the nearest toilet, but for anything else including your business presentation, it's simply not proficient enough. Instead of using Google Translate, have a look at DeepL. It's still not the Gordon Ramsay of all translation tools, but I'd say at Starbucks level surely.