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  1. #1
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    Default Is it possible to develop eloquence?

    I'm not very eloquent. I blame it on the fact that I was never around just one language growing up...as such, my speech patterns are perpetually "non standard".

    Also..I don't think in language. I think in "associations". When my thinking is going faster than my talking, it can sound as if I can barely use the language at all. Technology, I think, also has something to do with this. I've gone days "talking" to people..but not speaking to them. Facebook, Texts, etc etc...

    I seem to "talk in spurts". I'll speak, then trail off (because I'm thinking about something), and then all of a sudden snap back and say like 10 or 15 words all at once, only to trail off again. This is how I talk. Sometimes connecting the spurts with the appropriate connecting words is difficult for me.

    Anyway, can you develop eloquence? Or am I doomed to be a stuttering mess until I die?

    What would you suggest I do?

  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I am not sure one can become eloquent, but one can certainly become more articulate. As with many things, they key is practice. Look for opportunities to speak, formal and informal. If you have the chance at work to give presentations or show visitors around, don't shy away from it. Ask trusted friends or coworkers to give you feedback, especially those who are good speakers. Videotape yourself. Take note of what works and what doesn't, and work on those things. Learn strategies to be a bit premeditated about what you say. This can be done even in rather impromptu settings.

    Perhaps being more articulate will let your natural eloquence come through. Eloquence, I think, is just speaking from the heart, but with clarity and focus.

    Good luck!
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #3
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I've always found that a good way to develop a skill is to surround yourself with other people who possess that skill. When it comes to eloquence, you can both read eloquent writing and associate yourself (in whatever way) with eloquent people at your school. I think almost anything can be learned. You may not turn into Mark Twain, but you can definitely make great improvements. Prior to becoming a business writer and content manager (current job) I had barely written anything. Some essays here and these and I went to law school, but that was all technical writing. I don't like fiction. Then, around 4 years ago, I read something my brother wrote. He was describing the way his friend's nose covered his face like a helmet. I was fascinated and it changed the way I thought about expression.

  4. #4
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    I seem to "talk in spurts". I'll speak, then trail off (because I'm thinking about something), and then all of a sudden snap back and say like 10 or 15 words all at once, only to trail off again. This is how I talk. Sometimes connecting the spurts with the appropriate connecting words is difficult for me.
    I know another INTP who does this. It doesn't just seem like 'lack of eloquence' but depending on how you do it a lack of confidence in what you are saying and could also be rude because people take the cue of you 'stopping to talk for several seconds' as you have ended and it is now their turn to speak. I've noticed this happen sometimes in the INTP and other people whose type I don't know where they stop talking and then when the conversation has moved or someone else is speaking they burst in with a now seeming random comment. Totally oblivious to the fact they just busted spoke over someone else and interrupted a conversation. Awk-ward.

    I would say if you are an INTP and you are basically 'thinking out loud' - don't. That is a huge obstacle to being 'eloquent'. Some people can naturally talk on the fly but if you can't, reroute.

    Look more to the audience and watch their body language and cues. This will mentally focus you and give you a 'goal' and also make more certain that you are actually gaining and retaining interest. Eloquence is basically perception and if you are losing people that's not a good sign.

    Also, if you are still in school you can take debate or classes that focus on writing and speaking persuasively. Out of college there's Toastmasters. I didn't believe it either, but apparently they still function and I've known people who have joined to become better public speakers/less shy.

    Similarly to what @ThatsWhatHeSaid...said...surrounding yourself and mimicking go a long way, so does practice. Practice, practice, practice, get feedback, work on what you need to, repeat.

    I think for an INTP you are really gonna need to snap out of the Ti 'speaking out loud' loop. If speaking in the moment is difficult I think it can be helpful to 'chunk' what you want to say beforehand and make sure you are getting certain points across. And also relax before you speak so you don't freeze up and sound more confident while you speak. A lot of what is perceived as eloquence is confidence and voice goes a long way to that - timing, pitch, volume. Watch how Barack Obama speaks now compared to the way he spoke when he was starting out as a senator (if you can get a copy of that) Also, if you speak often on a certain topic memorizing a few key phrases can help. I know for presentations, memorization goes a long way.

    Hope that helps!

    And good for you for looking for improvement.
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  5. #5
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Practice, practice, practice, get feedback, work on what you need to, repeat.
    This can't be stressed enough. As someone who had to teach speech for two years, I can say without a doubt that the more familiar one becomes with just the feeling of speaking in front of others, the more composed they become as speakers. And the more composed they become, the better able they are to choose words that flow and create the impression of eloquence. The rest is just finding the right words, keeping things simple, and learning to compose speeches that tap into tropes that are appropriate for the occasion and general feeling of the time (and those things can be researched and learned intellectually.)

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    A lot of what is perceived as eloquence is confidence.
    Absolutely.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Some say it was the original goal of the enlightenment rather than equality.

  7. #7
    Member Skip Foreplay's Avatar
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    Eloquence is ONLY developed. You can do it. Read classics - a lot of them. I was shocked at how much I had improved from this alone. However, I do write like I'm from the nineteenth century sometimes.

    Do you think that the goal of the enlightenment was equality, Lark? Or does it seem to you to be more of a consequence? Were it the goal, I think more progress would have been made.

    Edit: I am not sure if eloquence would be a goal of the enlightenment, either. In my understanding, it took a greater turn afterward, in the romantic period. But if there's one thing I'll never be, it's a historian.

  8. #8
    Member Skip Foreplay's Avatar
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    Also, try working on your vocabulary if this is so important to you. Many people speak the way you do, and a reason may be that they know far more than they know how to say.

  9. #9
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Foreplay View Post
    Eloquence is ONLY developed. You can do it. Read classics - a lot of them. I was shocked at how much I had improved from this alone.
    ^This.

    E.G: Read Abraham Lincoln speeches. Memorize them. Do this with whomsoever you think is eloquent.
    A technique that Abe used: try to change a phrase that you like by thinking of other ways to say it, thereby making it your own. Do this over and over.

    Also, the most fluid language contains an element of 'prosody'. Learn what this means and how it is used.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Foreplay View Post
    Eloquence is ONLY developed. You can do it. Read classics - a lot of them. I was shocked at how much I had improved from this alone.
    thirded

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