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For English Communication, Jump to the Next Level with the Secret of the Smile and the Arms

 For English Communication, Jump to the Next Level with the Secret of the Smile and the Arms


  •  The most common phrase that appears in the Christian Bible’s New Testament is “Do not be afraid.”  
  • The most common phrase that appears in the Old Testament is “Be not afraid.”
  • Between the Old and New Testaments, this phrase appears more than one thousand times. 
  • Do you think there is a message there for us human beings?

In our previous three blogs, I discussed some of the highest speech sound errors for people with Spanish, Chinese, and Indian first languages.  Now for the next several blogs we will jump into some simple things you can do to take your English communication to the next level.

What’s the first roadblock to going to the next level? Do you have

  • Anxiety or fear for presenting information to a group?
  • Anxiety for talking in English in conversation?

Your two choices:

  • First choice: Succumb to your anxiety and never do that communicating.

 I did that when I was sixteen years old.  My stammering and stuttering were so bad, I just decided to stop talking except when I had to… or to family and friends.  Even there I kept my talking to a minimum.

First tip. Whatever you do, don’t do that!  If you stop talking in conversations or presenting information to groups, you will never get better.

Second choice? 

  • Walk forward and get the confidence you need.  Get the confidence of skill.
  • The skill that gives most ESLers the biggest benefit is learning to speak clear English
    • Accurate pronunciation by getting the movement of the tongue, teeth, lips and jaw just right for clear English.
    • Growing strong muscles (tongue, throat, etc.) to make strong accurate English sounds.
    •  Speaking the sounds loud enough and with the right speed of fast or slow to make them easy to understand.

BUT remember, confidence in communication is not just about the speech sounds and words.  As much as 80% of a person’s impression of you comes from everything else

  • How you stand, walk, and the expression on your face.
  • Here’s a tip I love. For smiling when you greet someone. look at the other person’s face for a moment. Pause. Soak in their personality. Then let forth a big, warm, responsive smile that overflows to your eyes. Be conscious and genuine in the moment.
    • When you get genuinely in the moment, in relationship with the other person, there is no such thing as fear.


  • Compose your body in an open position.  Don’t cross your arms across your chest, or put your hands in your pockets, or stand with hands on your hips.  With your arms relaxed at your side, you will feel relaxed and open and others will see you as friendly and supportive.

Do not be afraid.  You can get the skills to give you confidence.  You can consciously smile and welcome interaction with your body language.

Every skill you acquire builds your mountain of confidence.  We’ll give you more next time.

Now we give you a video to add to your pronunciation skill.  Remember to actively get the communication and speaking skills you need!

    Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2EFE0544AA7222F8) and Accent Reduction Tip videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEqcWG754u86nmYRHQ95AD8RM5n5DwNAu) for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

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