If you read this entire article, it'll definitely make you a better speaker. Consider this as your golden key to open doors of success throughout your life.
Obviously, excellent written and oral communication skills in English will definitely put you at the forefront of the world. Today we are focusing on spoken English. When we're talking about spoken English, we have to mention characteristics like pronunciation, accent, intonation, stress, syllables, and speed.
Are you good at speaking English? Well, let me assume some potential answers...
1 Yes, I am 10/10
This person is confident about English, it doesn't mean he is fluent in English, he might fluent in English.
2 I can manage 8/10
This person can handle a conversation without any problems.
3 Sometimes I get stuck, I can't continuously speak 6/10
This person should consider expanding his or her vocabulary. Collocations will definitely help this person. Maybe this person is good at English, but can't endure the tension.
4 I'm afraid of speaking, Someone will laugh at me 4/10
This person is undergoing speaking and presentation anxiety.
5 If someone speaks with me then I'll speak 2/10
This person isn't trying to find out what's his or her real level in English, often because of ego or doesn't know the importance of improving spoken English.
6 I'm practicing writing(listening, reading) at the moment, I'll learn to speak later +/10
This person doesn't know, that all major skills should practice together not one after another.
NOTE: This red note is for people who answered as "Yes I am". Hello friend!, Do you remember the time that you could've answered 6 for this question in the past? then 5 as the answer? then 4 as the answer? then 3 as the answer? then 2 as the answer? I can memorize those stages one by one, how about you?
What would be your answer? and which one is your preferable answer? If you have different answers for those two questions, then let's find out how to move from the current answer to your preferable answer.
Have you ever wondered what causes your answer? Actually, it depends on the person's personality. Maybe because of poor vocabulary, lack of practice, some people can't stay calm while speaking with strangers, Also it could happen due to lack of preparation or worrying about reputation getting damaged(stupid), some people can lose their memory while they're talking and it's also possible that you can't understand others.
How to achieve your favorable answer? If I have to answer that question with a single word, I'll select the word 'practice'. Let's figure out what does this 'practice' means...
I can come up with numerous ideas.. let's talk about some of them.
I know you've been learning English for ages, by now you should have a good vocabulary. If you don't have a good vocabulary, don't worry about it you are in the process of learning. Even though you've memorized an entire monolingual dictionary it is useless if you're not using those words in real life, in that case, a person who knows few words but using them accordingly will be better than you in spoken English. If you're wondering what is a monolingual dictionary, it is the dictionary that has words and their respective definitions in the same language whereas a bilingual dictionary has words and definitions in two languages.
When you see an opportunity where you can use a word that you know is perfect for the situation, use that word confidently. That way you'll be able to reduce your speaking anxiety.
Believe me, you will feel good when you know that you're accurate. That will make you do it again and again, which is good.
Whenever you're using a dictionary, put a checkmark in front of the word that you've just checked(if the dictionary belongs to you). And when you're trying to find another word in the future, check those checked words that are available on that page. If there are previously checked words, then you should try to memorize the definition of that word, and it's good if you can use a monolingual English dictionary than a bilingual dictionary, that way you can memorize the definition in English. You can easily download and install a dictionary on your mobile phone as well.
Collocations, so-called word partners have an important place in spoken English, choosing the right word for the right place is important. Otherwise, you have to tell a long sentence to express the idea which could have mentioned in few words. I use http://www.ozdic.com/ for collocations.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. if you get to fail now, eventually you'll succeed. I tell you what, people get to lose because they've never failed or they've failed so big as a public failure. That's the last thing you want my friend! Obviously, there are places the cost of failing is greater than the cost of trying, as example, what if a pilot tries to experiment what happens if I click all these buttons and nobs at once while flying a jumbo jet. but in our case, it is not like that, in here cost of failing is lower than the cost of trying.
Talk to yourself in English whenever you get a chance, Why don't you try making sentences from any word you learn. You can use your mobile phone to record them and then you can listen to those sentences while you are traveling. That way you can quickly use that sentence where it is appropriate, which saves sentence preparation time. Think of your mother tongue, you don't recollect word by word to prepare a sentence right, Do you know why? that's because we've practiced saying the same sentences for ages, the same goes with other languages too mate.
Once we had this activity at British Council, our teacher told us to ask questions from other students which they can easily answer with 'yes' or 'no', But the student who is answering should not use the words 'yes'(yes, yeah, yea, ya) or 'no'(no, nope, na) as answers. He or she should give a long answer without saying 'yes' or 'no'. Then on we've avoided using the same words again and again. Are you familiar with pronouns, synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms(a word that looks and/or sounds like another word with a different meaning eg. heir: air check this link)? If not, you should be.
Oh, I got so many ideas flowing through my mind now, I'm just wondering, will someone read all these? Well if someone is reading, he or she will definitely gain something out of this, It took me years to practice and do all these things. I know this is too much to remember or you may not like them all but these are proven facts to improve spoken English. I think the reader (you) should have a break now, I'm not trying to deviate your attention from the article. (Could you please tell me, how do you feel about this strategy? did it keep you awake? or I should've kept on writing?) Watch this video and continue reading...
In the beginning, you might not able to speak for a long time, so what you should do is, ask questions from the listener while your talking, then he will try to answer those questions, meanwhile, you can prepare for your turn. That is a good strategy to take some time off if you feel like you are in jeopardy or out of words. you should be a good listener and a fast thinker.
Some people think that speaking fast makes you better, but in my opinion, we should think about the listener's ability of comprehension as well. I personally have this problem, even once my teacher told me speaking fast is good, but speaking slow and accurately is better. If you've listened to Hip Hop music for ages, You'll be used to speak fast, but you'll be in jeopardy when talking(at the early stage of learning) because you don't have enough time to think and make beautiful sentences if you talk fast. nevertheless, talking somehow is better than being silent. Now I'm listening to Pop music than Hip hop music, but still, I like Hip Hip music the most, even though I can't understand each word. You know what, even some native speakers can't understand each word in a Rap song, but they are good at guessing, they hear the same expressions over and over again, so it is easier for them to guess the whole sentence even a small part of it is clearly audible. It's like reading.. we don't read word by word, we guess(if you're reading books) and read on. Our brain tells us what must have been said or written even if we don't really hear or read all of it. The more familiar you become with collocations, the more you able to guess correctly even it is obscure with interfering sounds.
Make sure you stop or slow down at punctuation marks. Try to accurately pronounce words and phrases. Reading out loud will help you in this matter. If you make a mistake, you will notice it instantly and remember the mistake. You can do the same thing with songs and movies as well. There are plenty of video songs and movies with subtitles. Read them while watching.
If you read a lot of English books or newspapers you will be able to easily correct your grammar mistakes, It is not important to be 100% grammatically correct when it comes to speaking.. it will develop with time, so don't wait till you finish learning all grammar rules. Just start and speak what you know so far. Talk to a friend and tell him or her about your progress, share your views with your friend, that is a very good way to overcome shyness. Don't be shy to ask for help, instead of that you should give yourselves some credits to keep on trying.
Let me tell you a trick to improve your confidence, it doesn't matter what you are going to talk about, make sure that you memorize how to start it and finish it nicely and remember the main points that you should mention during the conversation. If you try once, you'll embrace that formula for sure.
Before having a conversation you can anticipate the questions that might be asked and be prepared for those questions, so you can be confident throughout the conversation. Take some time to smile or smile while you're speaking. There is a Chinese saying that "a person who doesn't smile shouldn't start a business". Be yourself don't try to act like someone else, no matter how hard you try you will end up being you. Question yourself, Where is your originality? Why should you follow someone's footsteps when you can make your own path? That's absurd, isn't it?
Don't be upset when someone tells you 'you failed', you should tell your self "oh yeah, I failed but I've tried" don't be mad at that person but thank him because we need people like them to succeed, consider them as vital tools to improve your English. When it comes to me I love those kinds of people than people who just say good about me, because haters trying so hard to find out mistakes and show them to us without payment. Even you are right and haters are wrong bear it but don't scold them, let them help us to succeed, we need haters a lot. Jump out and take the risk, willing to fail my friend.
Some people got an ego like the sky, don't worry about them. If you have a big ego, then kindly try to understand this. Your ego is for you not for others, others don't give a damn about your ego, if you being rude to people, they will oppose your presence or company. And eventually, you will end up being all alone with your ego. Go to the main chat room and see how fast they're learning while having fun.
If you still feel afraid or shy, then go somewhere you've never been before, go to a different city if you have to and talk with unknown people in English, even you make mistakes it will stay as a secret, then come back and apply what you've learned, people who tend to do it often find new things about themselves and how to approach others.
Try new things like a chef, he tries new recipes, tries different ingredients, and makes new food. Why can't we do the same? If you are not curious about this, you are not going to learn, that's the bottom line. No pain no gain my friend.
Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do, go ahead and do what you want to do, else you will end up wondering "oh I should have done that" for the rest of your life.
Everyone who you think better than you is reassuring themselves except native speakers. No one is going to punish you if you don't do what has to be done, but as time goes by you'll be the person who's going to punish you. The only one who's stopping you is you. you have access to information, people, and other resources around you, If you really want it, EnglishClub is more than enough. we should admire and be grateful to the people who designed and maintain this website, I'm a software engineer and I know how hard it is to maintain this kind of system. Make sure you click some of their sponsors' advertisements, that's the way they finance this website.
You've already known the answer for 'what to do?' now I've just given you some answers to the question 'how to do?' Just remember, only your mind's resistance is stopping you from trying. Think as no one gives you initiatives, that way you will tend to initiate it. most people don't think about it like that, but that's the truth.
First, you will feel overwhelming, but from the 2nd one onwards you will feel good and confident, it's all about crossing the first step with the desire. let me tell you something from my life. When I'm preparing for my SCJP(Sun certified Java programmer, USA) exam, one of our lecturers told us that, learning is one thing that anyone can do but applying what you've learned is hard. You will feel like moving a mountain when you are doing your first program, but right after that first one, you will be eager to design another one, so try your best to do the first one. Guess what? I've followed his advice and I've designed 9 different software products so far. Believe me English is way easier than Software Engineering.
Initially, you'll call 2 or 3 people a month, then 7 friends per month, then 10 good friends per month, etc. Mark their names on your calendar, which will improve your enthusiasm for speaking with others whenever you look at the calendar. What is the cost of a skype call? but think about what will you gain? The point is that we all have a certain degree of freedom that we should give credit to ourselves, even if you are a waitress at a cafe, you can figure out how to be the waitress that they'll miss if you're gone. We are humans, it's all about connection. Think about how you can connect with people and how you can bring them up with you, that's why I'm trying here.. someday the world will thank you for doing that.
Don't consider these as some sort of tips that you can do my friend, what I'm giving you is a prescription which you will have to take immediately (if you follow these rules you might start calling me Dr. Kosala :) I sincerely believe this prescription will start working its magic on you... Thank you very much!
NOTE: This red note is for you. Do you remember the first red note? What do you think of that? Is it to discriminate against people? No, my friend, It is to show you that, we all started like that... there are no shortcuts other than practicing...