Improving Roleplaying

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The group I am playing with is slowly progressing into slightly more roleplaying - can anyone give me some tips on how I (and other members of my group) can improve in this area?

I think the main issue is that I am a bit lost in how to play my PC - I have used the Ten Minute Background which was helpful but I am still having a lot of trouble translating it into actual play at the table.

Any little tips or hints would be much appreciated. 
Even though you probably posted in the more appropriate forum, there is a current discussion about this very thing over here.
One of the best methods I've found is adopt a minor accent when speaking as a certain character. It helps establish that you're in character and makes you feel a little less silly. The accent doesn't have to be something absurd, perhaps it's just not your normal speech pattern. If it sounds different, it will help everyone identify with your character not you.
Thankyou for the feedback so far - I think part of the biggest problem is that I do not quite know how to play my character.

Any tips in this direction would be much appreciated. 
Okay, then maybe first you should tell something about your character?
Try to establish a "voice" for your character. That is a demeanor and speech style. This is different from an accent. It incorporates an attitude.

So, for example, you could have a gruff guard captain. Now, to bring him to life you'd probably want to speak with a bit of a scratchier or deeper voice than normal (that's the accent) and then for his "voice" you'll want him to be a man of few stern words perhaps? Thus, when speaking, keep your sentences short, don't rise to jokes, and be focused.

Barkeep: "Hey, what can I get for you?" *cheerily*
Grizz: "Where can I find Hest?"
Barkeep: "Oh? You're looking for Hest? He and I go way back! This one time when I -"
Grizz: *interrupting* "I really don't care. Where is he?"

There. Now your guy is no nonsense, kind of rude, and a bit of a badass.

Other "voices" include douchebag, gentlemen, child, playful, seductive, social misfit, badass, softspoken, etc.
 
Wrong, a "scratchy or deeper voice than normal" has nothing to do with an accent. An accent is a way of pronunciation _ONLY_ that is specific to a person or area. A dialect is in the same ballpark with the exception that it also incorporates vocabulary and possibly grammar variations whereas an accent refers only to a certain kind of pronunciation.

The pitch, rhythm etc are prosodic features, not related to accents or dialects.
Try to establish a "voice" for your character. That is a demeanor and speech style. This is different from an accent. It incorporates an attitude.

So, for example, you could have a gruff guard captain. Now, to bring him to life you'd probably want to speak with a bit of a scratchier or deeper voice than normal (that's the accent) and then for his "voice" you'll want him to be a man of few stern words perhaps? Thus, when speaking, keep your sentences short, don't rise to jokes, and be focused.

Barkeep: "Hey, what can I get for you?" *cheerily*
Grizz: "Where can I find Hest?"
Barkeep: "Oh? You're looking for Hest? He and I go way back! This one time when I -"
Grizz: *interrupting* "I really don't care. Where is he?"

There. Now your guy is no nonsense, kind of rude, and a bit of a badass.

Other "voices" include douchebag, gentlemen, child, playful, seductive, social misfit, badass, softspoken, etc.
 



stabby's right. talking like your PC would talk makes a huge difference in your RPing experience. the other part that i find helpful is to find a defining emotion of ideology that is behind most of your character's beleifs and/or thoughts. that isn't to say that your character has to be one dimensional, but defining that primary core can help you when you're uncertain of what the character would do in such a situation.

for example, i'm currently playing Varris the elf druid. his 'core' is Pack Predator. what this means is that he views his party as a pack, and has identified the "alpha male" of the pack. it makes it much easier to role play him because i always act like i'm on a hunt, and make a point to agree with the identified Alpha. the RPing bonus comes in because the "alpha" is very uneasy around shapeshifters, so Varris' constant changing keeps freaking him out.

at the same time, Varris' Wild Elf tribe has gone missing, with no sign that they were ever there too start with. Varris is looking for them, but this comes secondary to his "pack predator" core.

identifying this core makes it so much easier to do the character justice when you Roleplay them. hope this helps