I sent some surveys out about a week ago.
From time to time I like to know what my readers want.
In one survey you told me you want more business lessons.
I can do that.
And in another survey I asked, “What is your #1 challenge with English?”
The #1 answer…
“How do I speak better?”
So let’s talk about that.
How To Improve Your Speaking — Tip #1
Never say the word “perfect.”
Many students say they want to “speak perfectly.”
The problem with that is, it’s not possible.
Everyone makes mistakes.
Even native speakers make mistakes.
And when you’re intermediate, you need to practice speaking.
But how can you practice speaking without making a mistake?
You’ll make mistakes in every sentence.
And that’s normal.
But when you have the idea in your head “I must be perfect,” then you hate your mistakes, then you hate talking, and you speak less, and you practice less, and that’s not good.
So what do we think about perfect?
How To Improve Your Speaking — Tip #2
Increase your input.
One student wrote, “Can I improve my speaking if I’m just passively listening to audio books?”
My answer, “Yes.”
It doesn’t feel like work.
And it certainly doesn’t feel fast.
But trust that through input — listening, reading, watching TV — your brain is recognizing patterns, making connections, and learning new words.
It’s how kids learn.
And it’s how the world’s best language learners learn.
So listen more.
And trust your brain.
And when it comes time to speak, everything will be easier.
How To Improve Your Speaking — Tip #3
“I get nervous when I speak.”
I hear that every day.
The big problem with being nervous is it makes your speaking worse.
I call it “instant stupid.”
You know a word.
It’s a simple word.
But then you get nervous.
And you forget the word.
And you don’t want that.
Instead, you want to be relaxed and confident.