“I’m sorry, could you repeat that? I didn’t understand.”
“Oh my gosh, I love your accent. Where are you from? Say something else.”
If you hear statements like this regularly, you may have been wondering what you could do to be better understood by others and taken more seriously.
Yet you’re too advanced for English classes, or maybe English is your first language. You don’t need any more grammar training, and you may have tried CD’s or DVD’s with little change in your communication skills. Most of all, even though you are a well-educated and successful professional, you wish you were more confident in who you are and what you have to say.
Confidence Learning Services’ Accent Reduction / English Pronunciation Training courses, available on-site in Knoxville TN or worldwide via Skype, may be able to help you communicate more confidently.
Let’s look at a few clues that English Pronunciation Training is right for you:
If people regularly ask you to repeat yourself in English, you could benefit from English Pronunciation Training.
Of course, everyone has to repeat themselves once in awhile. But if you have to repeat yourself more than once a day, you might need some English Pronunciation Training. In Knoxville, I have heard some speakers repeat themselves up to 10 times to make themselves understood. Try to keep a tally sheet with you, or on your smartphone, and tally each time you have had to repeat yourself to make yourself understood. If it’s more than once a day, you might want to seek further English Pronunciation Training. Coming up with excuses about why your accent isn’t “that bad” or how you wouldn’t learn anything in an Accent Reduction course won’t improve your communication skills.
English Pronunciation Training may also be helpful if you need to present a professional image without the distraction of an accent.
This applies to both regional and foreign accents. If you travel to make presentations at conferences, or communicate with clients on a daily basis, you don’t want your accent to speak louder than your words. But how do you know this is happening? If oral communication is a big part of your communication with others, you will notice if people regularly comment on your accent. Perhaps you have given a presentation on recent scientific research conducted by your group, only to have people approach you afterwards asking about your accent, how long you have lived here, and to talk about cultural questions. English Pronunciation training – even for native speakers – can help you to communicate professionally and put the focus back on what you have to say.
If your job involves little to no oral communication, you rarely interact with new people, and you don’t have to give presentations or speak with clients, then accent reduction might not be as beneficial for you. But keep in mind that even though those are not your current job responsibilities, if you are hoping for a promotion or raise, you might want to be prepared for them.
If you are a performer or public speaker.
One of the best examples of this is the character of Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie. Laurie mastered the American accent so well that most Americans don’t realize he is actually from the U.K. Incidentally, the writers of the television show “House, MD” could have included Laurie’s accent – it’s not like there are no doctors in the US with a British accent. But the writers didn’t want Laurie’s character to be immediately written off by American audiences, so they went with the American accent.
If you are a local news anchor, actor, speaker, or performer from another country living in the US, having an English Pronunciation coach may help you advance in your career as well. Likewise, if you are a performer or broadcaster from Knoxville but wanting to break into a national market, English Pronunciation Training may help.
If you are willing to put effort into improving yourself
Many people would love to lose some weight. Few people go to the gym regularly. Finding an English Pronunciation Coach is a lot like finding a personal trainer, and the practice materials provided in your sessions are a lot like your gym membership. If you aren’t willing to put the time and effort in, or if you aren’t interested in following your coach’s instructions, you won’t see the results you want.