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Accent Reduction – Get the Habit- Count, Keep a Record

Accent Reduction – Get the Habit-  Count, Keep a Record

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People who keep records tend to make more progress than people who don’t.

Research shows that people who record on their calendar the days they get that 30 minutes of recommended physical exercise, do more exercise.   People who record exactly what they eat each day stick better to their eating modification goals.

On your calendar, make a note in the morning about how many different people you spoke English to on the previous day and how many minutes you tried to speak clearly and loudly the consonants and vowels.  Your intention is to speak clearly all the time.  Of course you will forget sometimes, but get back to speaking clearly right away.

And remember, everything counts.  For example, perhaps your total English speaking time average per day is about 45 minutes.  Perhaps one day you are so swamped with work (or so sick) that you remember your target goal of speaking every English speech sound clearly for only 5 of those minutes in the morning and only 5 of those minutes in the afternoon.  Hey –that is better than zero minutes.  Rejoice!  And vow as you put 10 minutes on your calendar for your record keeping that you will boost up your clear talking habit to all 45 minutes on this current day.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

 

 

Rerun from 05/25/2016

Don’t Do This for Any Presentation

Don’t Do This for Any Presentation

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Don’t hand out copies of your slides before your presentation or your listeners will focus on those instead of you.  For a presentation, you are the center, the best visual aid, and the inspiration for acceptance of your viewpoint or recommendation.

 

 

 

 

Rerun from June 13, 2016

Accent Reduction – Change Only One Habit

Accent Reduction – Change Only One Habit

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At one time we have all felt like our lives are a whole orchestra of bad habits.

For example, you get home from an exhausting day at work.  You didn’t like your communication that day.  A lot of people said “What?”  You know you are speaking accented English.  You understand that you are using the pronunciation from your first language with English.

You go to the internet to get some advice.

Oh my.  Different people give different advice.

You know vowel pronunciation is terribly important.   However, you find someone who says they are not important. That person says to focus only on making your consonants accurate.  Forget about the vowels, she says.

Some people say the most important is the voice inflection, the tone and melody of a whole sentence.  They say, forget about the accuracy of the speech sounds.  And when you have a problem communicating, no problem – just use gestures.

Other people focus their advice on syllable accent stress.  Get the stress wrong, they say, and you will keep getting “What?,”  “What did you say,” until the other person realizes that you left out the syllable accent stress.

And then there are the other people, including me, who say that speaking all the consonants and vowels clearly and loud enough is critically important.

However, since you have found all this different advice and you don’t know what is the most important skill for success for intelligible, understandable English, you decide that starting tomorrow you will change all of those features.

Wrong.

Trying to transform everything at once about your accented English speech gives your brain and muscles too much to work on at once.  Can’t be done.

TTT.   Transformation Takes Time.

Think of your spoken English communication as a project.

Choose one habit to focus on.  My favorite habit for biggest results is getting the habit of speaking the consonants and vowels clearly.  Do this–

  • Make the quick muscle consonants and vowels quickly (p,t,k,ch,b,d,g,j, short e, short I, short u, aw, uh)
  • Make the slow muscle consonants and vowels slowly (f,v,th,s,z,m,n,ng,l,r,h,w, all long vowels, short a, short o, ow, oy)
  • Pronounce each speech sound loudly enough so the listeners can hear each one
  • Do not slur the words or syllables together

Spend a month on this habit – then you can move to another habit.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

 

 

Rerun from May 18, 2016

The Two Best Rehearsal Strategies for Presenting Up the Management Chain (To Supervisors and Your Bosses)

The Two Best Rehearsal Strategies for Presenting Up the Management Chain (To Supervisors and Your Bosses)

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Rehearse out loud, standing up, five times, from beginning to end for best success.

Know your content thoroughly.  You will be challenged.  Rise to all questions with accurate answers – from your preparation and knowing your content cold.  Your credibility will soar.

 

 

 

Rerun from June 6, 2016

Accent Reduction – Get the Habit- Secrets from Research

Accent Reduction – Get the Habit- Secrets from Research

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Habits—we all have them.   Some good. Some bad.  You know what they are.  You know which are good.  You know which you should stop.  But… it’s hard.  In fact, sometimes you feel positively powerless.  And, fact is, you are not crazy.

Get this: 40% of what you do every day isn’t a decision – it’s a habit.

That’s what one paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found.

That’s right.  This researcher found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t on the spot decisions, but habits.

So you ask, what does this have to do with Accent Reduction? Keep reading.  I’ll get to that.

But first are actually bigger life-changing questions.

So what if you spend almost half your day on autopilot?  Changing bad habits isn’t just “sorta nice.”  If you want success, studies show habits really do matter.

People whose careers are moving are 53% more likely to have good habits.

I got this from The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People:

Comparing middle management employees, researchers have found that those whose careers continue to have momentum are 53 percent more likely to engage in healthy life habits than those whose careers are stalled – Roberts and Friend 1998

Accent Reduction?  Do you want to speak so it is much easier for everyone, native-born USA American speakers and non-native English speakers** to understand your speech and your information?

Did you know that the researchers have found that the fastest spoken languages in the world are Spanish and Japanese?

Did you know that in many languages – not just Spanish and Japanese– you are supposed to speak many many speech sounds very quickly.  In many languages, you are supposed to make the consonants at the ends of words very softly and gently?

Did you know that in USA American English,  clear speech happens when you clearly say all the consonants and vowels?

Research spanning a hundred years show that for clear, easy to understand English you need to

Speak the consonants and vowels clearly.  To do this:

  • Make the slow muscle consonants and vowels slowly.
  • Make the fast muscle consonants and vowels quickly.
  • Pronounce each consonant and vowel loudly enough so the listener can hear and understand every USA American English sound.
  • Do not slur the words or syllables together.

Want to reduce your accent?  Do you want everyone (native born USA and non-native born speakers from everywhere – Mexico, Columbia, China, Haiti, India, etc) to understand you, to get your information accurately?  Do you want to make your listeners happy?  Change this one habit.

Back to the big picture.

If you are on autopilot for half the day, you want those routines and habits to be good ones.  So what really works for tossing bad habits?  (The speaking of speech sounds too fast and/or too softly….  And all other bad habits?)

What really works for ditching bad habits?  And is not dreadfully difficult?  There are indeed half a dozen secrets in research.  We will get to each of them.

**Spanish accented, Chinese accented, India accented, Haitian accented—you get the melody

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

 

 

Rerun from May 11, 2016