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#79343
Will-Reierson
Participant

If your coach is telling you to focus on pronunciation, I’d listen to them. I’ll just add a couple of my own thoughts/opinions.

Firstly, pronunciation is important, but only to a point. Having perfect diction will not serve you if you’re trying to connect with a listener or have them believe what you’re saying. Nobody speaks perfectly, and so hearing someone with perfect diction subconsciously makes the listener disconnect from what is being said. If you’re speaking to someone from North America that hasn’t been raised in the upper echelons of society (most people), chances are that you’re going to hear them say “yer” and “fer”, not “your” and “for”. Focusing on pronouncing things correctly is important if you’re just starting out and don’t have control over how you are saying things. Once you have control, then you can start making intelligent decisions (based on the character) as to how refined your speech is going to be.

In the same way, pitch/timing is only important to a point. Focusing on pitch is helpful as a teaching tool, but not beyond that. Learning about pitch and timing teaches us to think about how we say things, and how different prosody patterns affect the meaning of what we’re saying. Once that is understood, however, pitch/timing becomes a stumbling block. I can promise you that Al Pacino doesn’t think about pitch when he’s acting. He’s thinking about the character- correction, he is BEING the character. That is his focus, and through that, his performance comes naturally.