Monthly Archives: November 2006

Accent Reduction – Top 10 Tips

1Imitate the desired accent and expressions of the people around you e.g. co-workers, T.V. and film characters, teachers, etc.

2Record yourself and check your progress continuously.

3Memorize useful North American slang, current idioms and expressions, etc. and integrate it whenever possible.

4Buy a pronunciation book. Check for CDs in the back and whether they are British or American English.

5Use a mirror to observe your lips, tongue and teeth positions.

6Control your volume, and stress key content words to keep listeners focused.

7Control your rhythm and pace. It is not a race!

8Practice with tongue-twisters, alliteration and poetry.

9Keep a list of trouble spots (words, sounds) to practice morning and night in a logbook or diary.

10When in doubt of the correct pronunciation, use a good dictionary to check the phonetic instructions of sounds and syllable stress.

Become an Expert Listener

As a Communication Coach I get asked all the time “How can I improve my communication skills?” by accountants and engineers, by ESL students, by immigrants, by counsellors. I always start with the same response: “Become a great listener!” When they ask me how they can do that, I then start to break it down. I can’t tell you all the secrets to listening just now, but here is some quick advice to help you become a better communicator with friends, family, co-workers, and employees.

When you become an expert listener it means that the other person is doing most of the talking. When you go into a situation where you are meeting someone for the first time go into that encounter with only one thing on your mind – THEM. You must treat that person as though they are the most important person in the world, because to them they are!

To build up rapport and to engage in a conversation ask questions and be intrigued about the other person, not yourself.

So, what do you talk to the other person about?

Well, like I said before, you don’t! You let them do most of the talking and by doing this they will think that you walk on water and will in turn ask about you and that’s when YOU talk!

So how do you engage the other person into talking? To do this it is important to understand what other people like to talk to about.

Here is the TOP 5 in order:

1. Themselves

2. Their own opinions

3. Other people

4. Things

5. You