Monthly Archives: September 2009

American Accent Reduction Resource

Lynn Bo is the founder of Accent Master. She is an American teacher who has an interesting blog that has videos and podcasts as well as posts regarding accent reduction or accent modification. You may find them useful, if you are interested in studying or imitating pure American English.

I have a slightly different accent, as I am from Toronto, Canada. My vowels are tighter and my enunciation is clearer than the average American. This is not a judgment, it is a fact, just as the British English accent is even tighter than the Canadian. That is how to tell the difference, and to determine where a person you are speaking to comes from.

I teach Accent Reduction a lot here in Toronto. I enjoy helping people speak clearer and more confidently. I know it is hard work to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’, but it is worth the time if you feel your accent is holding you back from personal or professional success.

Once again, here is Lynn Bo’s blog to check out:

Improve Your Body Language Knowledge

As most of you know, I am a big fan of studying body language. It is a huge part of interpreting other people, as well as presenting the right ‘vibe’ to others. I love teaching what I know to my clients, and seeing it in action everyday. In fact, my company is named ‘3V Communications‘ because we interpret and relay information using the 3 Vs of communication – Verbal, Vocal & Visual. But what are the ratios?

Perhaps surprisingly to you, according to an old and very specific study, they are 7% verbal, 38% vocal and 55% visual. That means 93% of all communication is non-verbal, if those numbers are true. But even if the numbers are just ballpark figures,  what does that realistically mean? It means I can swear at you, but as long as I am smiling and my body language is relaxed and open, and my voice is not too loud, you will NOT get mad at me! You will know that I am just joking or messing around with you. That is just a small example of how important it is to understand and properly use body language.

Did you know that the singer Shakira was correct when she sang a song called “My Hips Don’t Lie?” I realize that she meant it more in terms of sexy dance moves, but in reality, where we point our feet and hips does say a lot of who and what we are interested in. If you and I are sitting in a meeting or a café, and my feet are continuously pointing towards the door, what does that say to you? It says I am ready or waiting to leave.

If I am talking to someone on a 45 degree angle, that means I am inviting others into the conversation. Therefore if I am square to the person, I want their full attention and would not appreciate being interrupted. You can see this kind of ‘footwork’ at networking events or social mixers.

I could go on and on, since I have put a large number of hours into this fascinating field of study, but for now I just want to let you know that you can study body language with me either in individual coaching sessions or in a team workshop environment, and you can choose to focus on a course just on body language or have it included into other communication training programs.  Give me a call or email and I will send you some more information.  🙂