Whose Speech Is It, Anyway?: Speech Style Diction is a writer or speaker's choice of words. 91 Easy on the Ears If your listeners have to work to figure out what you're saying, chances are they will lose entire chunks of your speech. By the time they decipher one sentence, you'll be three ahead. Strive for clarity, not complexity. Read over the following examples: Hard to Understand Precipitous Mellifluous Euphonious Loquacious Thespian Machiavellian Quahog Salubrious Badinage Obsequious Easier to Understand Steep Golden, mellow Musical Talkative Actor Cunning Clam Healthy Joking Humble For informal speeches, use an everyday level of diction, with standard vocabulary, conventional sentence structure, and contractions. Eulogies, commencement addresses, and other formal speeches call for formal language: long, complex words; complex figures of speech; and few con-