TOP 5 STEPS FOR SPEAKING YOUR BEST

Call it whatever you want Accent Modification, Speaking Fluent English, Speaking English Clearly, or just plain ole Learning to talk better. Follow these 5 steps to become a better communicator, others will learn from you, remember you, and enjoying talking to you.

TOP 5 IMPORTANT STEPS FOR SPEAKING YOUR BEST

 

“It’s about  MELODY more than perfect pronunciation.”  -Pam

 

1. Finish the word! 

Pronouncing the final sounds of each word is tricky for a few reasons. First you don’t want to over-pronounce the last sound in a word. This sounds like I am contradicting myself. Say the sound but don’t push it out too much. Second, you may be able to say a word perfectly, but once you start talking faster your mouth and lips may not be able to keep up. And third, some of your sounds may be too weak-so you think you are saying the final sound- but a human ear will not hear it.  

What you think you are saying,      “I‘ll see you at five o’clock

What others hear,    “I_  see you  a_-fai_-o’claw_”

What is the big deal?  We link words together when we talk. If your last sounds are not pronounced, the important linking skill does not work.  And you will not sound smooth.

 

 2. Count the beats of the word. 

For example  a typical mistake for the word   Colorado is  “co-ra-do”  (3 beats). The correct pronunciation is 4 beats  “co-ler-ra-do”

The word particularly is 5 beats “par-ti-cu-lar-ly”, but a typical mistake is saying it with only 4 beats “par-ti-cu-ly”.

The word business is 2 beats “biz-nis”, but many times the mistake is saying it with 3 beats “biz-i-nis.”

What is the big deal? If you reduce the amount of syllables (or say too many) of a word, the listener is left to fill-in-the-blanks and will need a second or two to catch up with you. There will be problems with sounding choppy and a lack of understanding.

 

    3.       words              stand above       rest

         Some   ^            should               ^              the     ^    

If we said every word with the same voice we would put our listeners to sleep. That’s the definition of being monotone. One tone.

When we TALK like THIS, we would be HEARD, and have PERSONALITY in our CONVERSATION.

What is the big deal?  When every word sounds the same, you will sound boring and lack spark in your conversation. Put some effort into your important words. Listeners are waiting for you to emphasize the important words.

 

4.  Parts of a word are bigger than Other parts.

It’s my goal in life to teach everyone how to pronounce the word “develop.” If you continue to pronounce it without  the American English stress, it will sound like “devil up.”

The stress should be in the middle syllable. (VEL).  “di-VEL-lip”  Then the other syllables become smaller.

What is the big deal?  Even if you are pronouncing each sound correctly, the word will not sound like itself. While you are on the next sentence, the listener is still  wondering why they heard the word “devil.”

 

5.  Say some words L-O-N-G-E-R. 

Do you know that the only difference between saying “ice” and “eyes” is one sound. But the listener doesn’t care about that, as much as, the length of the word.

“ice”  ends in a /s/. This sounds like a short word with an “s” on the end.

“eyes” ends in a /z/.  This word is pronounced  L-O-N-G-E-R than the other one. It’s the length of the word (the vowel) that we are listening for. Not the  “z” pronunciation.

What is the big deal? Not all words are created equal. Listener confusion.

You’ve Got This!

So there you have it- we need to stretch some words longer, higher, and give our voice personality. We need to pronounce the correct amount of sounds and syllables and link them together in a cohesive way.  Once you can do these 5 steps you will sound fluent, more natural, and develop a confident, speaking style.

It’s all about the English melody 

for you to become a good conversationalist

and an awesome public (or private) speaker.

 

The hardest part is to know which skills you are doing correctly and which skills could use some help.

I have quick and easy directions so that you can show improvements within one hour. Of course, this will take some practice so that you can make it a new habit. But these are achievable goals.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation, contact me, let’s talk- and I will advise you.

Or let’s get right to it. Let me customize our classes together and I will teach only what you need to learn.

Virtual lessons -Private or in Small group Packages. Contact me to discuss the details. No obligation to purchase.

Pam@ProAccentCoaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignite Your Interactions!

Ignite Your Interactions!

Award Winning Conversations

Becoming an effective English speaker is required every time you start talking. Imagine interacting better in your job, when you are meeting new friends, and even ordering take-out at your favorite place. This last one is the best for practicing any new English pronunciation tip. Basically, try this whenever English is being used.

When I was in my 20’s,  I had the opportunity to volunteer for an after-school program for kids that were home alone. It was called “Phone Friend” and the job was to answer the phone, talk to them, and help them feel safe. These were school-aged children who were home alone because their parents were working. When I was in my 20’s, THERE WERE NO CELL PHONES! Well, there were cell phones, but most people didn’t have them yet.  Can you imagine?!

We were trained for a few months in the art of communicating with children and also how to respond to emergencies. These were important conversational skills, because in order to keep the conversation going, we had to learn how to be excellent listeners. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a young child? As my husband would say, it would be easier to “herd kittens.”  ha! ha!

How to Keep the Ball Rolling

The training is called Active Listening and that is because

To be an effective, successful communicator, you must be a good listener

  I am always working at this skill.  Everyone speaks with the intention to get our information heard. Instead, try listening to your conversational partner first, respond to their words and then talk to them. The results are amazing.

Use These Phrases When Conversing

This week’s lesson is filled with tools for you to enhance your pronunciation, play with word stress AND use new words/phrases that says “I hear you!”   Listening actually improves the quality of our conversation. And you will become memorable. That person. The one others want to talk to.  And believe it or not, when you LISTEN more, others will respond to you better.

Enjoy this lesson, and please contact me and tell me how you are doing in this process! CONTACT ME anytime. I would love to hear from you.

How To Sound Clear!

Today’s Forecast, Clear Skies!

Being Clear when you are speaking should be on the top of the list of priorities. After all, if you are not talking clearly, you can bet the other person is just pretending to understand what you are saying. Listen to this weeks podcast from Pronouncing English With Pam, and practice this effective exercise for speaking clearly.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a practice reading for you.

Good Luck and enjoy this practice.  Are there any difficult sounds that you notice when they are at the ends of words? Comment below. I always enjoying hearing  from my listeners. If you comment below, we can share our thoughts and questions together.  Photo Credit

Listen to the Episode 38: How to Sound Clear, and practice your new technique while reading this story out loud. I’ve underlined the final consonant sounds in the first two sentences to remind you!

Please call Stella. Ask her to bring three things with her from the store. Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.

 

 

Let’s meet and learn together! 7 days to go!

It’s the first day of summer and let’s celebrate! Let’s meet next week and learn a slew of American English techniques using words that end in “ATE”.

In one hour, you will learn

  • 10 new vocabulary words and use them 20 different ways.
  • how to use your voice to indicate which part of the word the listener should hear the most.
  • how to pronounce two different vowel sounds. Pam will help coach you personally!
  • that it’s fun to learn together!

The class is Thursday, July 1st. so hurry!

choose class time:   10 am (EST)  or   5 pm (EST)

Email Pam quickly!   Limit 10 people per class

Class fee $20 usd.  Once you sign-up you will receive a PayPal link (for payment) and a Zoom class link .

Practice these two words in this week’s show. I have 18 more words to share with you. I can’t wait to hear how you sound!

 

 

Practicing 3 Vowel Sounds in Head-Hat-Hot

The English spelling system has 5 letters that represent the vowels  A-E-I-O-U (and sometimes Y), but when talking, these vowels have at least 20-different vowel sounds!

Pronouncing English vowels are defined by changes made with the tongue, the degree of muscle tension (tense or relaxed), and lip movements. These tiny little changes make a BIG difference successfully communicating your intended words.  For example, the comparisons below show that if  you try to pronounce a word with one vowel sound, ex: head,  but pronounce the word with a different sound, the desired word may sound more like ‘had’, ‘hat’, or ‘hot’.   This week’s podcast will help you hear the differences and give you words to practice saying the differences.

Listen to Ep. 26  Pronouncing English With Pam Podcast

 

/ɛ/ This is a relaxed sound. Our mouth is open slightly, lips are neutral.
pen, men, slept, head, better

/æ/ tense sound (mouth open). lips are back slightly.
fast, had, slap, clap, man, pan, Pam

/ɑ/ tense sound (mouth is open the most), lips are forward a little or neutral.
stop, daughter, fought

Can you say these two words differently?

/ɛ/ – /æ/
head -had
men -man
guess- gas
said- sad
slept -slapped
end- and
then- than

/ɑ/- /æ/
hot-hat
mop-map
rock-rack

How did you do? Do you have difficulty hearing the difference between words?  Tell me in the comments below!

 

Mastering the P Sound

Pronouncing the P Sound

Sure, it’s easy to say the /p/ sound, but if you would like to pronounce the sound the American English way, then this lesson is for you.  Do you speak English using a different accent than American English?   You may be using less air than you should be while trying to pronounce words that have the P in it. This lesson will help you understand that if the P is not pronounced with enough air, it will sound like a B. My name would sound like “Bam!” instead of Pam, or the listener may hear “Boar” (a pig!) instead of the word ‘poor’.

The tongue twister in this lesson: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how pecks of pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?  That’s 18 P’s to practice!

Please comment below and tell me if this P sound is easy (or hard) for you to pronounce using the American English way.  Include your native language. I would love to hear from you!

 

We Celebrated! How To Pronounce Past Tense

Today we Celebrate Our Anniversary! And yesterday we “celebrated”!  Since we are always talking about past events, let’s learn how to pronounce the -ED using the American English Pronunciation.  With regular verbs, we add an -ed to the verb to change the word to mean something that has happenED in the past. There are a few different ways to pronounce the ED sound, so to simplify this for you, here are the 2 most important pronunciation changes:

  1. If the verb ends in a T or a D, you will add an extra syllable at the end.

That extra syllable will sound like “did”

pound + ed (pounded) will sound like “poun-did” and wait + ed (waited) will sound like “wai + did”

2.   All other verbs will have a small sound at the end of the word.

cook + ed = “cookt

play + ed = “playd

Listen to this lesson and practice repeating after me.

And by the way, Happy Anniversary. It’s been 4 years since I have been recording my podcast. And thank you for listening!

Please comment below about  verbs + ed that  you have questions about.

Talking About Time? Use These 3 Words!

This is a great lesson packed with exercises for learning about pronouncing 3 vowel sounds, while learning about these three tiny words that are important to use when talking about time concepts. It’s an 8 1/2 minute listen. Enjoy!

My Personal Picks

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

A New Year means New Beginnings. But for some reason I wanted to reflect back and review some of my favorite recordings, and tell you about the most popularly viewed recordings. I can’t believe it but the recording called, Ring, Ring Hello! currently has over 1,000 listeners. It’s been played in over 50 Countries. You never know what is going to become popular. Unless it’s stuck on constant replay-it must be a favorite somewhere!

Listen to My Personal Picks and you will hear my favorite lessons for you

If you’d like to see my playlists (and listen to all 98 lessons) LOOK HERE 

We have a whole new year to keep learning from each other.

Are you ready?

Oh No! Pronouncing O

Pronunciation Roadblocks For Saying “O”        Can Vary

While many people are good at saying the first part of the sound, MOST do not say the crucial second part.  Everyone will wonder how you did it,  HERE IS THE KEY TO SOUNDING GREAT

Read more