This Is Your Captain Speaking

Written by David Pullan

This Is Your Captain Speaking

I’m sitting on my third flight of the week and we’re just waiting to push back from the terminal.


The captain comes on the tannoy.


‘Era Bish Hairies weave allure Sadie income feet. So please it back end joy or fly.’


Or at least that’s what I think he said.


Now I love flying. I love the little trays of weird food, the inflight magazines, even seeing Russell Crowe squeezed into a screen the size of a shoebox. But I particularly love it when the crew go the extra mile to make you feel important and cared about.


This captain’s terrible diction and lazy tone just made me feel like he’d rather be anywhere else other than right here and right now. And let’s be honest, that's not a great feeling when you’re about to hurtle up to 35,000 feet.


This made me think about the role that care in speech takes when we are leading others.


If you’re recommending a new strategy or recommending a restaurant for dinner, why should anyone care or believe you if you mumble and slur your words? And this becomes even more of an issue in phone calls or conference calls.


I’ve got a simple exercise for you this week if you think your articulation muscles could do with a tune up.


Take a short piece of text or think about how you introduce yourself.


Grab a clean pencil or pen and bite it between your teeth.


Now keep the pen there and speak the text or do your introduction. Really concentrate on making the words clear. Do this three or four times.


Very soon you should start to notice that your diction gets much more clear.


Have a go this week…and please sit back and enjoy your flight.


  • W B Yeats

    'Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people.'