An ability to speak clearly has advantages. Clear communication is chief among these advantages, as well as the perception of a certain level of education, professionalism, and social status.
However, in a culture that encourages multi-tasking, you may notice when someone is engaged with an electronic device as well as conversation, the conversation end of the activity tends to suffer. Instead of hearing words, you most likely hear mumbling, a grunt, or possibly even a moan.
When you were young you were probably told to "Speak up, don't mumble," or "Use your words." And if you've ever attended a speech class you were certainly taught to enunciate every word while speaking from the solar plexus.
In adulthood, most of us aren't in positions to be kindly corrected or reminded of our speech habits. We are entirely on our own.
Clear communication adds great value to every situation. It encourages civil interactions by making everyone involved feel like a welcome participant.
When you speak clearly, you give the gift of your words. You are mindful that other people want to hear what you say. And, without realizing it, you may be giving someone the confidence to respond more openly than he would otherwise.
Your words have great power. Sharing them in a manner that ensures understanding can persuade someone to follow your lead, calm a tense situation, or encourage someone who feels hopeless. But if no one hears or understands you, none of these things can take place.
There is always room for improvement. Even the most articulate person can falter when communicating. But if you repeatedly hear, "Could you please say that again," or "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you," it may be time to do a self-check on whether you speak clearly enough.
The most important benefit in minding the mechanics of your speech is that as it becomes a habit, you will feel natural and authentic in whatever conversation topics you have engaged.
Remember, the manner in which you speak, speaks volumes about you. When making a first impression, your voice is assessed in the initial seconds of meeting someone. What impression do you want to give?
Even more important is when you are speaking on a phone. Your voice can tell someone if you are lazy, irresponsible, or rude. Or it might tell someone that you are professional, in control, and thoughtful.
Speak clearly and let your voice tell people about you.