English Communication Confidence Blog

Syllable Stress For Business Communication in American English

Jun 13, 2022

Jill takes you inside a class on syllable stress where she not only helps her student produce the correct pronunciation of technical terms, but also helps her student get over the negative thinking that stops him from succeeding with his spoken English.


Video Transcript:

Jill: Okay, all right, perfect so let's just get you to read them and we're gonna do a couple things. First we're gonna make sure you have the right syllable stress, then we're gonna make sure you have the right shape of the vowel on the stress syllable and then we'll make sure you're making it longer, louder, higher in pitch, okay. So go ahead, tell me what is the stress syllable on the first one.

Cassius: Governance, I don't know.

Jill: Well, say it again.

Cassius: Governance, governance.

Jill: You're saying it correctly, so say it again with confidence and which one is the stress.

Cassius: Governance, I think its the nance, governance.

Jill: You're saying it correctly, say it again.

Cassius: I don't…

Jiill: Don't say that, don't say I don't know, just say it again.

Cassius: Okay, governance is the first one, governance.

Jill: Correct, that's right. Let's go to the next word.

Cassius: Process, process is the first one right process.

Jill: Okay, good. Tell me the next one.

Cassius: Procedure.

Jill: Which one is it?

Cassius: It seems to be the first, procedure.

Jill: Say it again.

Cassius: Pro... no its the cee, procedure is the…

Jill: That's right.

Cassius: Man, it's so silly.

Jill: And then the fourth one.

Cassius: The fourth, organogram.

Jill: Which one?

Cassius: Organo, organogram, organogram.

Jill: Yeah.

Cassius: For me it's difficult orga, I think it's gan, organogram.

Jill: Okay, that's right. Half of your problem, half of your problem, do you know what half of your problem is?

Cassius: I don't [inaudible] it enough.

Jill: No, no no. Half of your problem is you tell yourself no all the time.

Cassius: Oh okay.

Jill: Half of your problem is you say "I don't know, that's not right," so you stop yourself from trusting yourself.

Cassius: I see.

Jill: Why is trust so important? Why do you need to trust yourself?

Cassius: Because if I trust myself it will allow me to do things.

Jill: Even if you make a mistake, even if you make a mistake.

Cassius: I see. Okay, in all of these cases, you got it right. You just didn't trust yourself and usually if you trust your instinct, okay, you trust your instinct, you're gonna get the past telling yourself no. You just don't wanna stop yourself before you take the chance, that's all.


Jill: Okay.

Cassius: All right, let's look at the next four words.

Jill: Develop, develop is the first.

Cassius: Okay good, now that is true, that's what you're saying, you're saying develop. Now listen to me. Develop.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Yeah, which one is it? It's not the first one.

Jill: Devel, develop, so it's the second. Develop.

Cassius: It's the second, that's right. Which means that the first one needs to be more like a schwa, right?

Jill: A schwa sound, yeah schwa, yeah, devel...

Cassius: Now, one of the rules when we see the m.e.n.t as a suffix there, we don't change the syllable stress of the word. It doesn't change. Some words it does, some suffix it have changed it but it doesn't here, so what's the stress syllable here?

Jill: It's the same ones, it's vel, development.

Cassius: That's right.

Jill: Development.

Cassius: Now we're gonna come back, we'll come back to them in a second right now we're just identifying the stress. So, where's the stress on this one?

Jill: Resource, resource, it's source.

Cassius: So, um.

Jill: Actually, no it's the first one right because…

Cassius: Right.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius: Resource.

Jill: Yeah, resource.

Cassius: Its a noun, right. The resource right, the record, the project. Two syllable words with the vetter nouns to stress goes on the first syllable on these cases. Resource.

Jill: Resource. And then that e is long and clear, resource. Resource.

Cassius: Yeah, all right good. And then how about this last one.

Jill: Multitude.

Cassius: Where's the stress?

Jill: It's the first one, multitude.

Cassius: That's right, that's right, okay good. So now we're gonna go back, we're gonna go back to the top and we're gonna focus on the stress syllable of the vowel of the stress syllable. Okay, say this word again.

Jill: Governance.

Cassius: Yeah, gah, ah, gah.

Jill: Gah, ah.

Cassius: Ah, ah. It's like the schwa, except it's a different symbol in the phonetic alphabet because it's stressed, okay. Its like the schwa, ah ah ah, but its not short in this case, it's gotta be long. Governance.

Jill: Governance.

Cassius: Good and now use your hand right, as a Frisbee. Governance.

Jill: Governance.

Cassius: Yeah, that's right, good. Do it again.

Jill: Governance.

Cassius: Yeah, see really stretch out your body. Governance.

Jill: And how do I say govern, govern, government.

Cassius: To govern.

Jill: To govern, government.

Cassius: Yes, government, governance, govern, it's all in the first syllable.

Jill: Oh, right yeah.

Cassius: Okay?

Jill: Governance.

Cassius: Yeah, good, let's go to this one.

Jill: Pro, process, process, process.

Cassius: Say it again.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: Yeah, ah, ah, ah.

Jill: Ah.

Cassius: It's that number six vowel mop. Ah, ah, the jaw is all the way down, process.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: Yeah, yeah…

Jill: Process.

Cassius: See now you're using the muscles, you're creating the shape, you're making it longer so you can spend more time in the shape. Process.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: Good.

Jill: Process, governance.

Cassius: How about this one.

Jill: Proc, it's the same right? Procedure. No, it's different.

Cassius: Well it's not, is it?

Jill: It's different. Pro, proced, procedure.

Cassius: Yeah, so what's that stress vowel sound? Eeh.

Jill: Eeh.

Cassius: Procee, procee…

Jill: Procee, procedure.

Cassius: Yeah, now let's just be careful don't lock your jaw. Procedure, no, procedure. Don't lock your jaw.

Jill: I love this class, it's so funny.

Cassius: The first syllable is the schwa sound.

Jill: Okay.

Cassius: Pro, pro, so that you can get the contrast between the first and second syllable. Procedure.

Jill: Procedure.

Cassius: Yeah, there you go. Procee, get a nice [inaudible] smile. Procedure.

Jill: Procedure.

Cassius: Right, good that was better, see you had more relaxation in your jaw, you don't wanna say procedure, you don't wanna lock the jaw. Procedure.

Jill: Procedure.

Cassius: You got it, okay, good.

Jill: Procedure.

Cassius: Now, let's go to the next one.

Jill: Organogram.

Cassius: Yeah, say that vowel, orga, orga, orga…

Jill: Orga, organogram.

Cassius: Right, so we pull the muscles back here, we get the ah sound which is the number five vowel in the vowel chart, organogram.

Jill: Organogram.

Cassius: Good, perfect, nice, let's go up here.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Again.

Jill: Develo, develop.

Cassius: Right, now make sure that you use more schwa for the first syllable so that the second syllable is more pronounced.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Yeah, develop.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Yes, say it again.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Right, now same thing keep the schwa…

Jill: Ah, ah, ah.

Cassius: Keep the schwa here, let me hear this one.

Jill: De, develop.

Cassius: Du, uh, uh.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Do this next word.

Jill: Development.

Cassius: Yes, do it again.

Jill: Development.

Cassius: Right, development. Really look at how much I use my muscles, development.

Jill: Development.

Cassius: Yes, you gotta get a little more active here. How about this word?

Jill: Resource, re…

Cassius: Say it again.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius: Yeah, resource.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius: Yes.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius Resource.

Jill: Resource, resource.

Cassius: You wanna make sure it doesn't sound like research, right, so resource.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius: Yeah.

Jill: Research, resource, okay.

Cassius: Yeah, and then this one.

Jill: Multitude.

Cassius: Yeah, now when you first said this word I didn't understand because you say moltitude, ooh, right.

Jill: Yeah because…

Cassius: The Portuguese u right.

Jill: Yeah, this one, yeah.

Cassius: Muu, uh uh uh uh, it's that schwa again, like guuh. Look at this governance. It's an o, multitude it's a u but they both have the exact same shape. Muh, guh, it's the same vowel.

Jill: Mult, multitude.

Cassius: Yeah, good.

Jill: Multitude. I need to do the exercise again that is the the twist.

Cassius: The vowel chart? Oh the tongue twisters?

Jill: Yes, I'll do it again because [inaudible] I think that you.

Cassius: Which one, the vowel chart or the tongue twisters?

Jill: The tongue twister, this is a game changer.

Cassius: Yeah, I think the more you do it the more you'll engage the muscles.

Jill: Yeah.

Cassius: Now, let's go back one more time and this time I want you to make sure that you not only get the vowel, the shape of the vowel, but you gotta make it longer, use more melody. Governance. Really glide.

Jill: Okay. Governance, process.

Cassius: Proh, process not process, process.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: No actually I will correct, I will say this the British say 'process' so people will understand, but

Americans say pruh 'process'.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: Yeah, use more melody.

Jill: Process.

Cassius: Yeah, see the gliding, you know what I mean right by gliding?

Jill: I know, gliding…

Cassius: The sirens, exactly. And it's important because you don't always want to use volume. Sometimes, you just wanna use melody. You don't wanna yell at people all the time, right, like I'm yelling in my classes all the time. Try this one.

Jill: [inaudible] Procedure.

Cassius: Yeah, more gliding, a little bit more.

Jill: Procedure.

Cassius: Yeah, just as an exaggeration, perfect, how about the next one.

Jill: Organogram.

Cassius: Yeah, organogram. First syllable can be a little quieter, organogram.

Jill: Organogram.

Cassius: Perfect, this one.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: Yeah, develop. Think about that melody.

Jill: Develop.

Cassius: And get a little more schwa instead of deve, de de, duh, develop.

Jill: Duh, develop.

Cassius: There you go, that's what I'm talking about.

Jill: Development.

Cassius: Yeah.

Jill: Like a rap. Resource.

Cassius: Yeah, put it on the first syllable, resource.

Jill: Resource.

Cassius: There you go. And then finally.

Jill: Multitude.

Cassius: Good, now I want you to use each of these, I want you to use each of these now, okay, use each of these in a sentence.

Jill: In a sentence.

Cassius: Yeah, I wanna hear them in use.

Jill: Okay. Well, today you have a multitude of solutions for IT and you need to define a strong governance to make sure that the [inaudible] process you'll be [inaudible] followed for everybody and to develop new solutions and new applications, you need to pay attention your procedures that you [inaudible] day by day. So in this way, you generate solutions that to bring money for your company and make sure that you are using the all resources in a clever way. So if you wanted to learn how to do it, here's my phone.

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