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Is Accent Reduction Right for You?

“Can you get rid of my accent?” That is often the first thing that someone says to me when they call for information.  My response is almost always, “Why do you want to get rid of your accent?”

In my opinion, there is no reason to erase one’s accent completely (unless you are an actor practicing the script for a role). For many people, their accent is a vital part of their self-image, reflecting their heritage and culture. It is a reflection of who they are. We all have accents. What is important is that one’s accent or the way they speak does not interfere with the clarity and confidence of their communication. If an accent interferes with clarity it can end up causing miscommunication and miscommunication can cost companies millions of dollars.

In business, strong communication is essential to success.  A particularly heavy accent can make speech difficult to understand and create communication gaps that detract from the message. We often hear from our clients that their confidence is affected when people ask them to repeat what was said or the listener looks confused. Accent reduction training (or “accent modification training”) is designed to target the aspects of a person’s accent that are interfering in their communication success. An executive communication coach (with a background as a speech-language pathologist) trained in accent modification will assess which sounds and speech patterns are having the strongest impact on your clarity. The trainer/coach will then custom design a program that is tailored to your specific goals and personal communication needs. In addition to targeting English pronunciations and speech features, the speech coach may also target communication issues such as  rate of speech, volume control, and American English idioms and expressions to help increase conversational fluency.

Ready to get started? Check out our upcoming workshop, Accent Reduction Made Easy, on 11/8 in NYC. Go to our events page for details and registration.

Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can improve your professional life! Call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at jayne@corporatespeechsolutions.com to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

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