Being a good speaker in English requires planning, clarity of thought and a well constructed beginning, middle, and end to your speech. It is important to avoid creating confusion or leaving your listeners feeling that you have wasted their time.
Here are seven easy tips that you can become a good speaker.
Break it down then build it up
To speak English well, you need to be able to do several things at the same time: know (and choose) suitable vocabulary, use the right grammar and sentence patterns, and produce the correct sounds, stress patterns, rhythm and intonation. Work on these individual elements separately then practice putting them together to make your speech more accurate and fluent.
Learn to interact
A conversation is an interaction with another person, and involves listening as well as talking. Check that the other person is following, by using conversation strategies like emphasizing key words, rephrasing, or using expressions like ‘You know what I mean?’ or ‘Don’t you agree?’ Give the other person a chance to speak and use their answers and to help you think about what to say next.
You need the right attitude to improve your English. Look for every opportunity to practice speaking, like talking to people at parties, approaching a foreigner who looks lost, or just putting up your hand when your teacher asks a question. Remember, every mistake is an opportunity to learn, so don’t be afraid of making some slips from time to time.
Think in English
This is a great way to improve your spoken English, and you can do it anywhere, anytime. At home, you can talk to yourself while doing everyday tasks like preparing a meal. If you are on the train or bus, then describe the people around you (in your head, not aloud!), and when you go to sleep, go over the day’s events in English.
Record yourself speaking
Even though you might not like hearing your own voice, this is a very useful way to find out what’s wrong with your spoken English. Record yourself speaking and then listen to the tape, or ask a native speaker for some advice. Look for positive things, too. Make a note of all the things you do well when you speak English. If you are ever feeling unmotivated, look at the things you do well to feel great about speaking English again.
Keep a speaking journal
Record your thoughts in English before you go to sleep at night. You can play the tape at the end of the year to look back on important events, as well as monitor your English progress. If you can’t keep a speaking journal, write it instead. Make a note of all the conversations you had in English along with aspects you did well and things you could improve on. Use this to track your progress throughout the year and set yourself new goals.
Find English-speaking friends
If you are really serious about becoming a good English speaker, you need to meet people you can speak to in English. This does NOT only mean native-speakers, though. English is spoken by many more people as a second language than as a native language, and being able to understand different accents is very important. Start an English coffee club with your friends where you meet and have a chat in English. You can help each other and have fun practicing together.