How often do you practice honing your communication skills? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably, “not enough!” One of the most common problems with accent reduction or speech improvement is lack of carryover—people show excellent progress during our sessions, but have trouble applying their new skill set in their day-to-day life. One of the most common reasons for this lack of carryover is not practicing the skills you’ve learned! Like any other skill set, speech and communication must be practiced regularly to be fully learned. Without practice, your brain and body don’t become fully accustomed to the new skill.
One way to make sure you fit in enough practice is by incorporating it into your daily routine. For example, leave notes for yourself in places that you’ll see often throughout your day. Put a post it note on your phone that says “Slow down!” or a note on your computer monitor that says “Clear and precise!” Then, each time you pick up your phone or glance at your computer, you’ll have a visual reminder to focus on that specific skill. Another great opportunity for incorporating practice into your normal communication is reading aloud. If when reading e-mails or reports in the privacy of your home, read them out loud, focusing on the speech skills you’re currently working on. If you have children, reading to them is also a perfect opportunity to practice your speech.
In addition to informal practice that you incorporate into your daily routine, formal practice is also essential. This can involve doing drills on material you’re working on, or practicing exercises from a workbook, like Corporate Speech Solutions Talking Business series. Another great resource is our podcast series, where I lead you through samples of our exercises that you can follow along with at home. Check out the podcast below, where I discuss producing final consonant clusters, and lead you through an exercise to improve your pronunciation:
If you have questions or are interested in improving your communication skills, give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have! © 2015, Corporate Speech Solutions of New York City and Long Island – All Rights Reserved