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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clear diction at the G20 conference helps Cameron and Merkel.

A little reported comment by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor at the Canadian G20 conference is worth noting. She observed how David Cameron's clear diction and careful delivery helped her understanding of his English and what he was saying. Here is a powerful message for the politician seeking to influence or the entrepreneur pitching for the next opportunity in Britain. Not many of us like the sound of our voices and even fewer do anything about it. Speaking well gives you authority, influence and status. Have you noticed that how you speak can get you better or poorer service? We are not talking of the strangulated sounds from the Royal family or the extravagences of regional accents, rather a delivery that is clear, free of jargon and colloquialisms, not distracting and makes for interested listening. In a competitive business world we tend to underplay one of the most valuable assets we have - well-spoken English. Foreigners are appreciative and we downplay it. Our exports, tourism and diplomacy would all benefit from Merkel's experience. One thing is for certain in their future meetings, Merkel will approach them knowing that a major communication hurdle has been overcome and the content of debate has a chance of being heard.

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