In Part 1 of this article, I had shared with you a couple of tips and tricks, from my personal experience, to improve your confidence when speaking in English for beginners.
In this article, we will continue learning more such tips. I hope that all of these tips will prove equally useful to you.
#1 People care about THEIR OWN problems; they do not care about YOU (sorry to say!).
When you are about to speak in English, you may feel apprehensive to do so because you are afraid that you will make mistakes and that others will also notice them.
However, surprisingly, in reality, people really don't care about these things.
Here is an anecdote from my own experience –
When I was a university student, I was looking for a way to find a side income. Since I was a chess Grand Master, I figured that giving chess classes online (via Skype) is a good way to make some extra money.
I knew of some English websites where I could find potential students. But, I was afraid that my poor command over English would limit my ability to hold conversations, especially live ones, with native speakers.
In fact, the night before my 1st lesson, I was frantically trying to learn as many English words and phrases as I possibly could (almost like a bad student cramming just before his exams!).
However, with years of experience, I realised one simple truth –
The people, who hired me, did so because they need to pay me a bit less compared to native speakers. Since they knew I was a foreigner, they already expected my lack of English fluency.
Saving money was more important to people, than having a perfectly fluent English-speaking teacher. As long as you get the work done, the rest did not matter.
Reflect on your own life – have you ever presented in front of other students in your school/university? Do you really think that the were fixated on your English?
Let's be realistic. Half of them would probably be dozing or daydreaming during your speech. Not because anything is wrong with you, but because the whole thing is not of much importance to them. They’d probably be thinking about their own stuff during that time.
Another such example – If you are trying for a sales job, the employer is probably going to be more concerned about your ability to serve customers well, meet deadlines and make money for the company rather than your English fluency.
If you realise this simple truth that people doesn't really care about your English skills, you will naturally be more confident when conversing in the language.
#2 Do most of the talking yourself. Do not let your interlocutor talk.
This probably seems like a counter-intuitive advice. After all, if you lack fluency in a particular language, it is probably easy to do less talking and more listening.
However, from my experience, I realised that when we do this, often, we are unable to understand what the other person is saying. This can put us in a very uncomfortable situation.
On the other hand, if you take the initiative to talk, you will understand everything that's going on in the conversation. After all, YOU know what YOU are going to say.
Therefore, although this advice may seem counter intuitive and unnatural, try it out and it will work wonders for you.
#3: Nod and smile 😀 when the interlocutor is talking.
If you are a non-native speaker, one of your main worries is probably that you may not be able to fully understand what the other person is saying.
This could especially be true if the native speaker is talking very quickly and fluently. You may fail to understand some of things that they are saying.
So what should you do in this situation?
You can simply ‘NOD YOUR HEAD AND SMILE’. This gesture will convey an impression that you understand everything that they are saying, even if it is not true.
Of course, this advice will not save you forever, but this is an effective solution in the short-run.
Give it a try, it is very simple and you will definitely be able to make a good impression on other people. After all, that’s what you ultimately need!
- People care about THEIR problems and not really about you. If you can get the job done, that's all that matters. Do not let your poor command over English hold you back.
- Do most of the talking yourself; do not let your interlocutor talk. Sounds strange, but it works. The more you talk, the more you understand.
- Nod and smile 😀 when the interlocutor is talking. This gesture will convey an impression that you understand everything that they are saying.