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Free Speech Lesson

Dr. Antonia Johnson

English Speech Communication- How to Build Trust – Every Time

English Speech Communication: How to Build Trust at Work, in Negotiations, and in Daily Life


 How to build trust? State and keep your commitments..

For example, if you say, “I will follow-up with you tomorrow with a phone call,” and you do that, then you are predictable, and your words match your actions.

But if you say one thing and do another, it is confusing to the other person– they cannot trust your word. In the culture of the United States, failure to keep your word is often upsetting for the other person because it means you are unpredictable.

When negotiating with people in the U.S. and in many other cultures, not being consistent in your words and deeds creates confusion and negative emotions or tensions in negotiating discussions.

The same applies to interactions in daily life.  Whether setting an appointment or agreeing and committing to do a task, making your actions match your spoken commitment is highly valued.  .

The reward? Trust and good feelings.

Gold, platinum and diamond – that’s how precious matching your words and actions are!

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

The How Can I Help Offer

“How Can I Help” Call— Your Offer

For an “How Can I  Help” call– just by calling you are showing that you care.  Letting someone know that you are available can mean a lot.  True, people often don’t know what to ask for, but with good listening and questioning skills, you may be able to find out enough to know what to offer.

Support comes in many forms – a shoulder to cry on, an ear that listens, a word of encouragement, a piece of information, a hand to hold for comfort.

How to Be Clear When Teaching a Task –English Speech Communication

Be Clear When Teaching a Task


Recall the last time you assigned a person to complete a task for you at work or in daily life –family or friend?

Tips for being clear in that circumstance:

  1. Set the climate.

Use a place conducive for listening.–specially level of background noise

Get a time when your colleague or helper is free to pay attention.

  1. Give the big picture.

Describe the overall objectives because people need to see where their part fits into the whole.  Then they feel they are part of the bigger, more important goal.

  1. Describe the steps of the task.

That’s the critical part of the task teaching.  If the task is already printed in an instruction manual, you still need to go over these steps to assure yourself that the colleague or helper is familiar with the steps.

But if the steps are not written, have the person write the list as you are discussing the steps.   That increases the likelihood that the colleague or helper will remember all the steps.

  1. Describe the resources.

Point out other references on the task— perhaps a manual or a You Tube video, if there are any.

Including refering to people who have worked on this task before.

  1. Invite questions.

Often there’s the feeling we don’t have time to answer questions.  Better to give extra explanation than be unhappy with the results.  Do open-ended questions, such as “What questions do you have?”   Avoid saying “You don’t have any questions, do you?”  The open-ended question invites responses.

  1. Get the person to summarize his or her strategy for accomplishing the task.

That assures you and the other person that the steps for the task are well understood.

You could use this sentence: “Call me compulsive – I need you to summarize how you will get this done.”   You are taking responsibility and thus reduce the defensiveness in the other person.

  1. Agree on a date to follow-up.

Follow-up date depends on how complex and the value of the task.  For complex and/or very important tasks, an earlier date for initial follow-up works well.

When you speak, ask if you are being clear by saying, “Are you following me?”

That can remind the other person to listen more carefully.  If the point you are making is critical, ask the other person to repeat the information back, just to be sure you are communicating effectively.

And, don’t forget to express your appreciation and gratitude that your colleague or helper is assisting you. Smile!

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

Offer Your Help

Offer Your Help- Make a Call

Make this call to offer support and make yourself available as a resource.  When you hear about a project or challenge someone is facing, reach out and call.  If you hear someone is job searching you can call and offer ideas and moral support.

Ask questions to find out what is really needed.

Public Speaking- Clear and To the Point

Public Speaking— Make Clear and To the Point


Do you want to communicate ideas clearly?  Do you want to be clear and to-the-point for presentations?  Those presentations could be any presentation, from a five-minute informal chat, to a thirty-minute formal speech using many examples. Here are some tips for expressing ideas clearly.

Being clear simply means that when you speak, write, or otherwise communicate, your listener understands your intended message.

Probably you are like most people.  You start from the point of view of “What do I want to tell my listener?”

Instead, best is to make your point of view from the listener’s side of the communication.  Try asking yourself this question:  What do I want my listener to do, think, or feel as a result of my communication?

First, be clear with yourself about what your goals are. Then have information about who the listener is, what filters are in place, and how to get through those filters so that you can be understood.

Present your ideas in an order that the listener can understand–  you want the listener to be nodding in agreement with you as you speak.

Here is one of my favorite techniques to organize your thoughts and communicate logically. The P.R.E.P. approach is great because you can use it in an impromptu fashion.  P.R.E.P. stands for point, reason, example, point.

  • My point is: Exercise is energizing.
  • The reason is: It makes your heart rate go up.
  • My example is: After at least 20 to 30 minutes of increased heart rate, you are more energized when you leave the fitness center than when you entered it.
  • So my point is: Exercise is energizing.

Another strategy is to list and number your points.  Here is an example:

I recommend that you hire the new consultant to create a plan that will

  1. Increase sales.
  2. Improve morale and enthusiasm.
  3. Increase productivity.

Unfortunately, no one is born knowing how to express ideas clearly.  But there are clever strategies to organize your thoughts and communicate clearly?

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