• Tips for using your accent as an asset for public speaking

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    This multi-national business world we live in is a beautiful thing, especially when people who speak different languages can meet and share ideas. Contrary to popular belief, an accent – no matter what your mother tongue is – can be used to your advantage in public speaking. Here are some great tips from Fast Company for making the most of your drawl.

    Embrace it
    As an American expat, I can tell you there comes a time when you move to a new country (or even to a new part of your home country) when you get tired of people asking where your accent is from. Despite this, I’ve tried to maintain as much of my twang as possible. If you waste too much time trying to change the way you speak, it’s easy to lose sight of the more important factor – what you’re saying.

    Focus on clarity
    The only time you do need to change your accent is if people genuinely can’t understand you. However, this applies to any public speaker, not just those working in a second language. Work on your enunciation to be sure your message is getting out loud and clear.

    Pace yourself
    Phrasing is everything in public speaking. Test out your spiel in front of your colleagues to get an idea of how quickly or slowly you need to talk. Continue to practise out loud to yourself so you can discover the natural breaks in sentences and where you should take breaths.

    Don’t worry about pronunciation
    If you’re speaking in a language that isn’t your first, don’t get hung up on pronouncing every word perfectly. As long as you’re enunciating, people will understand what you’re saying even if you add an extra syllable here and there.

    Read the original article at bit.ly/2j4WB5D


    Molly Dyson

    Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson