It can be difficult in a professional environment if English is your second language, and you speak with an accent. Unfortunately, accented English can lead to you being taken less seriously in the workplace. If you think this is happening to you, there is some work that you can do to improve your accent and become a more confident speaker in English.
For some people, improving your accent can take years of practice because just listening to Americans speak is not always the fastest way to get better. However, with some real work, it doesn’t have to take that long to improve. If you put in the effort, you can make a noticeable improvement in just a few weeks.
In order to improve your American accent significantly, you need to be proactive and practice as much as you can. With practice, you can improve your accent and become a more confident speaker in your workplace, whether you’re chatting with colleagues or giving a presentation in a meeting. Try these top five tips to improve your accent.
Slow Your Rate
When you speak, try to slow down. By slowing down the speed of your speech, you will be able to give your mouth more time to make the shapes that it needs to in order to pronounce words clearly. The people that you are speaking to will have a better chance of understanding you, and you will sound more like a fluent speaker.
When you speak, over articulate your words. This can feel as though you will sound weird, but by doing this, you’ll usually sound more natural. The person that you’re speaking to won’t notice and will actually hear you more clearly. If you’re struggling with this, it can help to work with an American English accent coach.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
If you’re afraid when you speak or feel embarrassed about the possibility of making mistakes when you speak English, then you will end up missing out on opportunities to practice your speaking. If you take chances to speak, you will gradually become more confident.
Stand tall and straight, take a confident breath, and project your voice! Speak as if you want to send your voice all the way across the room. Projecting will make you sound more confident and help people to better understand you.
Practice In the Mirror
Watch the way your mouth moves when you make sounds the right way to help you remember what the correct placement looks and feels like.
Don’t Give Up!
Improving your accent is a journey and it will take work. However, the work will be well worth it. Try to practice for thirty minutes every day. You can break this up into ten-minute slots, spread out across the day.
By doing this, you can fit practice into small parts of your day. Before you know it, you’ll be able to speak with confidence when you’re at work and be taken more seriously in a professional environment.