F*ck man, how important language is!


As a speaker, you are dealing with an awful lot of facets. First, of course, you listen to a million other speakers and Simon Sinek urges you to figure out 'WHY????' - 'WHY???' you want to get out of bed and speak? If that hasn't put you off and you come up with something plausible, then you 'may' move on.

A barren quest further on, you know what you stand for and it is you managed to get a message there (your what) from it.

It doesn't stop there.

The quest to how do I convey that message, serves up. The ultimate test of whether your 'why' and 'what' hold up. Do they hold up during your own torrential shower of judgements? Have you picked the right test readers/listeners to encourage you instead of people who want to throw you off your idiotic plans?

Let's assume you have succeeded! You have turned all your internal struggles, experiences and inspiration into words on paper. This is one of the milestones in your existence as a speaker. How incredibly clever. You really are already so much further along than most ever get.

Suddenly, then something big happens. Your story is no longer just yours. After all, you want to start telling your story share. Your story now also belongs to your target audience, your audience. From now on, it's about realising that your story only exists by the grace of interaction with your audience.... Oefffff.

Does your audience catch the words the way you have pitched them? In other words, have you chosen, composed and spoken the words in such a way that your message can enter at all and then land?

At Speakers Club, we call this issue Lingua. This is one of the four pillars on which a good speech or keynote rests according to SCIL (an assessment that maps your personal impact as a speaker). The other pillars are SensusCorpus and Intellectus.

Lingua is about the choices you make regarding the use of words (eloquence), the use of your voice (intonation), your pronunciation (articulation) and the extent to which you use imagery (expressiveness). The effectiveness of your speech can be measured by the extent to which your intended message came across to your listeners. Lingua plays a big role in this.

Do you use 'F*ck man' or 'jeetjemeneetje'?

How linguistic is your audience? What language are they used to? Which words do they warm to? For which ones explicitly not? The richer your language, the better you can respond to their needs. Eloquence, eloquence and elocution mean exactly the same thing, yet all three come across differently. Which word would you use in which context? (and what does that say about you?). By the way, it's nice for everyone if you use synonyms as variety. We don't want to talk anyone to sleep.

Eloquence 2.0 is about learning to use your listener's vocabulary. You use very different words when you have a room full of sociable accountants than when you get to speak in front of the carnival club.

Mockup - Trends&Tools


Have you been watching the younger generations?

And given what they can do with smartphones and computers in terms of visual content?

Here you will find a valuable document with all kinds of links from new tools, handy websites and royalty-free photography. 


Your voice gives away more than you think

Sometimes you are standing talking to someone and you sense that someone is nervous or in a hurry. It is often betrayed by body language or eye gaze (corpus), but your intuition is also unerringly able to register that someone is nervous or in a hurry talk. Who will help you with breathing, scales and other exercises? Varying your volume, pitch and timbre well involves your audience even more in your speech. Did you know that you can quiet a room by speaking more softly yourself? That powerful instrument of yours.

Can you understand me in the back?

Of course you have your preparations in place and technically everything is in order in the venue. Yet your highly developed intuition tells you that they might not understand you properly. How could that be? You have amplification and you talk loud enough... This could be due to your articulation, your way of speaking. On big stages, it is extra important to be aware of all the muscles in your face. To speak in a large hall, it is important that you learn to 'distant' (pronounce words at different distances).

Tip: In the car or in the shower, try saying the following words 100 times at different distances over the next few days:

  • Peel pad soup distribution
  • Admirable spirit of sacrifice
  • Liquor Control Association
  • Supplication writer
  • Arteriosclerosis

You will find that you become more limber and can also articulate better at your command.

Creamy lasagne bolognese with freshly grated parmigiano or prefer pasta?

Imagery is crucial to getting your message across. Why say house when you can mean a dilapidated farmhouse or 'villa like the one in the movie Treasures'?

Of course, you have to be careful not to get bogged down in using overly picturesque language to liven up the colour palette of the painting of your speech. You want to hold your audience's attention or even draw them in further.

In addition, don't be put off by words like metaphor and allegory. They are simply comparisons that help plant your message in the mind of the listener. 'In the barren desert of his heart' immediately suggests that this gentleman has been through a lot and has not come off so well.

So just do it!

Take Aways

  1. In the 'writing phase', don't get distracted by anticipating and thinking about 'how' you are going to get it across.
  2. All your speeches rest on 4 pillars (Sensus, Corpus, Intellectus, Lingua)
  3. At Lingua, your use of voice is a key to success (timbre, volume, pitch)
  4. With Lingua, your pronunciation is key (do I articulate well?)
  5. At Lingua, the words you do choose count (vocabulary, eloquence)
  6. Lingua encourages visual storytelling (imagery, figurative speaking)

As you read this article, are you thinking "I could use some help with my speech or keynote!", "I'd like to go to my next level'? Coming right up! The Speakers Club has coaches and experts who can help you on every facet of your speech. Whether it's about 'language' or 'CONTENT' as above or whether your struggle lies more with 'DESIGN' or the way you bring it across the stage (DELIVERY), we're happy to work with you to your next level to go!

Kees pannevis


As a founder of several companies, Kees has the experience and insight to turn any presentation into a true performance. With his skills as a speechwriter, he has helped keynote speakers transform their stories into memorable speeches. But it doesn't stop there: Kees is an innovator and initiator at heart and therefore knows how to creatively see a traditional presentation outside its box and give it an original twist. The angle you never thought of? Kees finds it effortlessly!

Would you like support, coaching or to follow a programme. Take contact with us. You can also take another look at the download page for own development!