Do you know how to speak English with more confidence?
That is a great question. No matter what language we are learning, we would all love to speak more confidently. Lack of confidence can come from having trouble with pronunciation and not having a wide enough vocabulary.
If you lack confidence when you speak English, you may do one or more of these things without realizing it:
- Speak in short phrases
- Speak too softly
- Speak too fast or unclearly
So today, we have several pieces of advice to help you gain confidence in your English-speaking ability.
Use positive self-talk
Believe it or not, the most important person you talk to every day is yourself. In other words: Your thoughts matter.
So our first piece of advice is to use positive self-talk.
If you lack confidence as an English speaker, you may tell yourself things like, “English is too hard and I will never improve.” When you talk to other people, you may say things like, “I’m so sorry for my English.”
But if you keep thinking and saying such things, you are sure to start believing them.
So the next time you are using your English, pay attention to what you tell yourself or others. Be sure to replace unhelpful thoughts or ideas with better ones.
Speak louder, slower
The next tip is to speak louder and slow down your speech.
To sound more confident, speak loudly enough that anyone in the same room can easily hear you.
And try to slow down your speech if you speak too fast. Many English learners worry that speaking too slow will make them sound inexperienced. But speaking too fast may cause more mistakes. So avoid worrying that you are speaking too slow for the people around you.
Speak in full sentences
Our third tip is to speak in complete sentences and give longer responses when possible.
If you are not confident in a language, you will likely try to say as little as possible when you speak.
Using complete sentences and giving more detail in responses shows listeners that you are not afraid to speak English.
Read out loud
Now, we move to tip number four: Read out loud.
Reading out loud can help build confidence in how your English sounds. So the next time you are reading a website, book or something else that you enjoy, take a few minutes to read the material aloud.
Before reading aloud, read the story silently first. The second time, if there is audio, you can listen to the speaker as you read along silently. Then, try to read the story out loud alone. Then, try listening to the speaker and reading out loud at the same time.
List words you have trouble saying and then, later, check their pronunciation on Google Translate or in some other place.
Don’t worry too much
One of the biggest barriers to confidence in speaking a second language is the constant worry about making mistakes.
So our next tip is: Do not worry too much about mistakes.
Understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the language learning process. Yes, you will make mistakes. But keep in mind that the purpose of speaking a language is to communicate. And many English learners communicate very well, even with mistakes.
Set realistic goals
Our final tip is to set realistic goals.
If your English-speaking skills are at the beginner or intermediate level and you try to do something too difficult, you may fail. This can harm your confidence. But, if you do something that matches your level, you are more likely to do it well.
As you learn English, it is natural to lack some of the skills you need to communicate well. Often, when we lack skills, we lack confidence. But remember that, as your skills grow, your confidence will, too.
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