In this Podcast we offer you a story about a concert that we went to in Barcelona. It was a show put on by Mónica Naranjo to celebrate her 40th birthday. Mónica has probably the best, strongest voice in the whole of Spain and yet during her career her music has maintained a cult status in the world of pop. Her fans adore her and she has gained a massive gay following which is palpably visible in the audience of her concerts. Mónica’s style is theatrical, avantgarde and at times almost operatic and Cynthia and I love her.
Our short story with which we give you a Spanish test is centred around our journey to the concert, the poor directions that the hotel receptionist gave us and our subsequent 30 minute walk up what seemed to be a cliff face. Finally, after a great deal of stress, questions to passers by and about two pints of sweat, we finally made it to the Club San Jordi.
The concert was fabulous and Mónica sang all of the songs that we had hoped to hear. The only downside was the pain in our backs that both Cynthia and I were suffering due to having walked around Barcelona all day only to then have to scale a mountain in order to reach the event. Still, it was worth it and the concert will remain in our memories as one of the highlights of 2014.
Once we move to Madrid in Spain we will undoubtedly have the opportunity to see many more of our favourite Spanish artists. ¡Qué ilusión!
Why have a Spanish test?
It’s good to make a Spanish test of your listening abilities as often as you can to give you a good gauge on how well tuned in you are to the language. However, it’s not always the level of the Spanish that’s being used that trips us up. More often than not it’s the person that is speaking that makes it easy or very difficult for us to understand.
In any language, the effort that the person puts into their speech to make themselves understood is paramount to the listener. In my view, the speaker has a more important job to do than the listener. The reason I say that is that I have learnt that there is a certain kind of person that exists in every place in the world that cannot be understood and, at the same time, there are those that can be understood perfectly.
This is why:
Enunciate all words fully.
Use generous gestures and facial expressions.
Observe their listeners closely, ensuring they are getting all the right signs of understanding.
Speak with a musical, expressive tone neither too high nor too low.
Maintain eye contact and speak toward their audience.
Speak in a measured, medium to slow pace.
Swallow their words or barely open their mouths.
Have minimal or non-existent body moments.
Speak in a monotone fashion with little or no expression.
Pay little attention to their listeners.
Often speak down to the floor or away from their audience.
Speak quickly or with a mixed rhythm, trailing off and speeding up toward the end of each sentence.
Where do you fit in?
So, the question is: Which category does your speaking style fit into? Do you consider yourself to be a good communicator?
Like everything, it’s all about intention. If you really want your audience to understand what you are saying, then good communication comes naturally. However, it doesn’t do any harm to work on the above points so that you can become a master communicator.
After all, if no one understands what you are saying, it’s hardly worth talking. Ha ha.
Enjoy the podcast.