American English Pronunciation and Accent Boston
For non-native speakers of English, “accent reduction” means speaking English in a way that makes it easier for people to understand, but we don’t have to call it “accent reduction”. We can call it pronunciation improvement or English speech improvement.
The goal is to speak clearly, confidently, and effectively with executive teams, managers, team members, and clients. To do this, no one has to speak English, or pronounce English, exactly as native speakers do. In other words, this does not have to be “accent reduction”.
There are many ways to improve English pronunciation or “accent”, but for speech to be clear, confident, and effective, pronunciation does not have to be perfect or flawless.
These are the three most important ways to improve English speech in order to be easier to understand, more effective, and more confident at presentations, meetings, and project updates.
1. Intonation – Intonation is the high points and low points of speech. If speech is too flat, meaning not enough contrast between high points and low points, then this can be challenging for some listeners.
2. Connecting sounds or linking sounds – If words and syllables are disconnected, this causes speech to sound unnatural and can reduce speech clarity. Connecting sounds makes speech more confident and more natural sounding.
3. Speaking with personal expression – This means making words that are important to your message stand out more with added stress. Adding stress to words that are important to your message increases the contrast between the high points and the low points of speech. This improves intonation and makes speech easier to understand.
Still, it’s not just added stress. The idea is to place your attitude, and what you feel about what you’re saying, on the words themselves so that listeners receive messages more effectively: giving the words your attitude and your feelings makes your message clear, confident,and effective.
Three other important points for clear, effective, and confident speech are these:
4. Volume – Speech that is too soft, or not loud enough, does not come across as confident, clear, and effective.
5. Speed – Speech that is too fast may not come across as confident. Slowing down can make speech more effective and easier to understand.
6. Pausing – Pausing to take a breath and pausing for effect make speech easier for people to follow.
Coaching and practicing in these areas means speech becomes more effective and more confident at presentations, meetings, and project updates. Steve’s Impact Communication Skills provides a way to be more effective, confident, and clear when speaking with executive teams, managers, team members, and clients. If you would like to know more about speech improvement for professional purposes and how to get started with a program, please, speak with Steve: Contact.