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English Speaking Communication: My Biggest, Stupidest Error AND The Presentation Strategy that Works!

English Speaking Communication: My Biggest, Stupidest Error AND The Presentation Strategy that Works!


Last week I told you I stopped talking when I was a teenager.

Don’t do that as a response to your frustration with your English speech!

Here is the rest of the story.  I recalled it as I meditated one recent morning.

When I was 15, I did a presentation for my religion class.  I was in a Catholic school at the time.  I had only two years of Catholic school and the year was the happiest year of my schooling.

To get back to this story,  I did the presentation and I was so nervous that my speech shook and tremored and I stammered and stuttered.

After the class, the teacher pulled me aside and told me: “Your presentation and your speech made me uncomfortable.”  Wow.  That hit me like a punch in the stomach. 

Before that I had figured I was the only one suffering when I talked.  Now I realized other people were uncomfortable.

Well, I said to myself, “If that is the case, then I will just stop talking .  I will talk to friends, family but not to other people.  I will keep doing very well in school and  demonstrate my learning in other ways –  through writing projects and tests.

Several years later I realized that the outcome of my decision to stop talking was dreadful.  My fear of speaking had increased, and my stammer or stutter was even worse.

I came to realized that the worst harm to me in my life was not done on purpose.  To that teacher, his remarks may well have been off the cuff, just in passing.  Or perhaps he was actually saying you should work on making your speech better.  But instead, I responded with retreat.  So taking the strategy of stopping to talk was probably one of the stupidest things I did in my life. Because I, at that year of my life, was actually getting better in my speech. Mostly because I was in a secure environment and surrounded by the life force, the power of that life force or God.  But at that time I took the path of stopping my talking, and the results were very, very bad.

To this day, I will say that the worst things that have happened to me or done to me were not done to deliberately hurt me.

What does this mean to you?  Don’t do what I did in response to my speech.  Do not retreat.  Instead, get help to make your speech communication better.

What can you do?

  • Self study  and practice. – random – Doing practice with free speech tip videos will give you skill.   Little steps are certainly better than no steps.  Yay for any steps you take for learning!  In life, everything counts!
  • Self-study systematic course  Do our core course or other people’s self study courses.  Systematic learning helps you learn much more and faster.
  • Systematic study in a course with a tutor or coach.  This is the most efficient way of learning.  The coach gives you feedback on exactly HOW you are doing and what YOU need to do differently… and how to get the best learning!

Now for the communication tip I promised you in the last blog:

To boost your confidence in the totally of the presentation, write a script for the presentation.

  • That’s what Archbishop Wenski of the Miami Archdiocese does.  He does it because he needs to be certain that his message is clear and on target.
  • With the 300 or so graduate student and professional researchers or tech people I have worked with, many of them wrote out their lectures or presentations.  Then for a presentation they worked at memorizing it. Some people even had it memorized word for word for very important presentations. 
  • Other people knew their script so well that they  could virtually give it word for word.
  • Other people, like me, do the work of learning and memorizing it, and make a power point slide show (or overhead slides).  They use the  power point  slides to prompt memory.  For these people, like me, the slides are used as triggers but the presentation is dynamic.  That is, the presentation can change depending on the circumstances and actual people present.  Here the presentation can be dialogue- interaction between presenter and the audience or listeners. 
  • The benefit of this strategy for presenting –and what I really like— is that I have the phrases, the vocabulary.  When I am confronted by the anxiety of presenting, I will forget words, phrases.  This helps me to think of those words and phrases.

Next week- Tips for reading a speech – which is what some people do. 


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


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