Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

Elocution Training

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Primarily for those who may not be familiar with the word elocution which from Latin stems from eloqui to eloquence. This means expertise and metier in art of speech, delivery and voice modulation. Major accentuation of an elocutionist is on delivered of speech, prose or rendition of poetic verses. Art of eloquence implies correct stresses on words by rise to gradual crescendo followed by attenuation to a diminuendo. The elocutionist is trained to render a piece of unseen prose and a poem with lucidity with emphasis on pronunciation, frequency modulation so as to leave an indelible impression on the listeners.

Right from my school days we were taught by English teachers from British Council and Saint Marys. Radiant Reading and books of English history were taught during the 60s. Major emphasis was laid on correct usage of words, pronunciation with a British accent and eloquent delivery. In those halcyon days hat debates ad declamation contests were organised regularly to prepare students for impromptu off the cuff speeches.

The accomplished and more eloquent then were singled out to participate in the Annual Elocution events of the extracurricular calendar. Modus operandi of this event would comprise reading an unprepared passage of prose with impeccable delivery and cadence. Grand finale was the rendition of poetic verses with aplomb and sangfroid.

In case of judging elocution contests judges place reliance on delivery, pronunciation, grace /poise, cadence rhythm and tempo. The mishmash and hotchpotch of American English has gravely enfeebled the classic English we were taught. Even standard of BBC has shown a decline. I for one still am a proponent of the old British style off accent/eloquence. My aim is to impart training in this domain to all who want to polish their delivery, style and pronunciation. Lucidity and cadence i.e. modulation and inflection of the voice is my forte. Retrogression and declining standard of English needs to be arrested going back to the basics.

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posted by Salman Aslam @ 12:00 AM,

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