just like improving your writing, listening or any other skill, there are techniques you can use to improve your spoken english in a targeted way. basically, the best way to speak better is to, well – speak! take advantage of the thousands of native speakers in your immediate community, such as your friends, their families, your coworkers, classmates, employees at the coffee shops, supermarket, post-office and other places you visit. after your conversation is over, take a moment to reflect. how comfortable did you feel with that subject matter? class time is great for learning vocabulary, but there are other ways you can increase yours: watch movies, listen to music, the radio and to podcasts. all this will provide more “meat” for you to use next time you practice.
are you going to the doctor’s? use the technique before going to pay a bill, eating at a restaurant, job interviews, making a complaint, or for any other situation that might make you anxious. to feel more confident on the phone, start small with phone conversations with friends – then move on to more challenging calls like making appointments or inquiries. (this is a great time to use tip 4, and prepare a list of questions and useful vocabulary to help you during your call!) for bonus points, take your recording to your teacher or to a native speaker friend and have them give you feedback. (you probably do this all the time in your native language.) inject silliness into your speaking practice by talking to yourself when you’re alone, singing along with popular songs in english, doing tongue twisters (try our top tongue twisters) or doing one-minute “impromptu speeches” on randomly-chosen topics (such as snakes, coffee, india or subjects such as “if i ruled the world, i would…”, “three surprising facts about me,” or “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”). we send it out once a month and you can opt out anytime.
few are immune to the fear of public speaking. just thinking about public speaking—routinely described as one of the greatest (and most common) fears—can make your palms sweat. in part two, i examined how to apply these techniques as you interact with colleagues and supervisors in the workplace. for the third and final part of this series, i’m providing you with public speaking tips that will help reduce your anxiety, dispel myths, and improve your performance. the adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance. videotape yourself, or get a friend to critique your performance. before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.
delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners. inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. reading from a script or slide fractures the interpersonal connection. a brief outline can serve to jog your memory and keep you on task. do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “today i’m going to talk to you about x”? conclude your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember. however, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. subscribe to our blog and we’ll alert you when we have a new post about one of our business topics from leadership to innovation. as a business leader, you’ve discussed projects and initiat… delivering a speech can cause even the most confident among us to break a sweat.
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