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When Does an Accent Interfere with Success?

As a corporate speech-language pathologist, one of the most common reasons people seek my services is to reduce their accent. Often, clients will call for information and ask, “Can you get rid of my accent?” As an accent reduction specialist, I don’t try to “get rid” of a person’s accent. An accent in and of itself is not a bad thing; for many people an accent is an important part of their identity and a reflection of their heritage. However, there are situations in which an accent may interfere with professional success. It is in these cases that accent modification training can make a significant difference in your professional life.

Some studies have shown that having an accent can affect the way people see you. An article in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that when all other factors were equal, individuals with non-native English accents were significantly less likely to be recommended for management positions and less likely to receive new-venture funding. This bias is unfortunate—no one should be discriminated against because of the way they speak. But the article did provide some food for thought on how a non-native accent may affect how others perceive you in the workplace.

An accent is not necessarily negative, and unless you’re an actor training to play someone from a different background, there is no need to try to eliminate one’s accent. However, clear, confident communication is essential to professional success in any field. If your accent is getting in the way of others understanding your message or affecting your confidence, learning to change the way you talk could help your career. As an accent reduction specialist, I work with a person’s particular accent to make sure that they are understood and able to speak with clarity and confidence, so that their accent impacts their professional work as little as possible.

If you think accent modification could help improve your career, check out our upcoming event on 6/24 in NYC: Accent Success: Master the 5 Foundations of Accent Reduction. This dynamic and interactive workshop is designed for native and non-native English speakers looking to gain greater clarity and confidence in their communication skills. Our goal is to transform you into a dynamic, confident and professional speaker! Unable to make the workshop? Check out our other training options! We provide both in-person and virtual training, so that you can improve your communication from anywhere in the world.

At Corporate Speech Solutions, we provide training that will give you the ability to communicate with clarity and confidence. Want to learn more? Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can take your career to the next level! 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!

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.

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