Everyone has an accent. An accent is simply a way of speaking a language that is shaped by geography, culture, and native language, among many other things. Many people embrace their accent; it reflects their heritage and culture and is an important reflection of who they are. However, an accent can become problematic if it interferes with the clarity of communication or a person’s confidence. Decreased clarity and confidence translate into miscommunications and missed opportunities for advancement, and can significantly hold back your career.
Strong communication skills are essential to professional success. No matter how good you are at your job, your skills and knowledge won’t be appreciated by others if they have to work to understand your speech. It’s not necessary to erase an accent altogether; however, modifying or reducing an accent in a way that makes your speech easier to understand can be incredibly beneficial for your career. So how do you get started?
If you’re serious about changing the way you speak, the first step is seeing an accent reduction specialist, either in person or via Skype. At Corporate Speech Solutions, all of our executive communication coaches are also certified speech-language pathologists trained in accent reduction and accent modification. In your first session, your coach will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your pronunciation of all the sounds in Standard American English to determine which sounds are having the strongest impact on your clarity. They will also access other speech patterns, such as your rate of speech, volume, stress, and intonation. Your trainer will then custom design a program that is tailored to your specific goals and personal communication needs.
In addition to your personalized training, the biggest key to success is practice! In order to really integrate the techniques into your day-to-day speech and see lasting results, your brain and body require regular systematic practice. Try integrating practice into your day-to-day routine. For example, you might want to practice a certain speech goal each morning when your order your coffee on your way to work or when your reading a story to your child before bed. As long as it’s regular and systematic, you can fit in practice whenever works best for you and your schedule.
If your communication skills are holding you back from professional success and you want to make your communication skills your most powerful professional tool, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!