How to Reduce Your Accent
If you are living in the United States and are not a native speaker of English, chances are you speak English with an accent. And if you are a native speaker of English you may not want to be identified by your regional accent. There are many benefits to accent reduction. Modifying your accent can help you strengthen your interpersonal communication skills thereby improving your work life, your social life, and your overall quality of life. Read more about the benefits of accent reduction here.
Below are some methods to help you modify your accent and improve your communication skills.
Identify Your Accent Flaws and Your Specific Needs
First step is to try and identify your issues
- difficulty with specific vowels and consonants
- not knowing how to pronounce specific words
- sounding monotonous and boring
- speaking too rapidly
The second step is identifying the specific situations where speaking well is important to you. Do you want to be able to perform your job better? Do you want to improve your public speaking? Or do you simply want to be understood easily in social gatherings?
How an Accent Reduction Coach Can Help you
Professional speech coaches have extensive experience with pronunciation, intonation, speech rhythm and speaking too quickly.
An accent reduction coach will:
- Give you a diagnostic evaluation and identify the specific areas in which you need work
- Practice pronunciation, articulation, vocal range, speech rhythm and rate of speaking
- Give you techniques to deal with and overcome your nervousness
- Give you exercises to practice on your own
Working with a coach is the fastest way to reduce your accent.
Read Aloud and Record Yourself
Reading aloud helps you practice all of the things you learn from your coach. It will also help you identify words or phrases you aren’t sure of.
Record and listen to yourself. Many people are reluctant to listen to themselves speak, but with coaching you will be able to listen more objectively and hear your progress.
Utilize Video and Audio Multimedia
What do you enjoy watching or listening to? Use Youtube, Podcasts, TV, audiobooks, movies, or radio to help you. Instead of passively watching or listening, start practicing active listening. Listen for speakers you would like to emulate. And be sure to take advantage of different topics so that you have a broad language base to draw from.
Joining groups on meetup.com or other groups in your community will help you to participate in your own interests while speaking with people on a variety of different topics.
These are just a few of the ways you can start modifying your accent which will lead you to being more easily understood.
Don’t let your accent stand in the way of your ability to communicate with confidence.
Read about The Benefits of Accent Reduction.