“Accent”uate the Positive
30 January 2024 - 17:28, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off

Many of my clients come to me because they want to get rid of their accents.
I hate to hear that because it’s part of your voice, part of what makes you, you!
However, many find that people just can’t understand them and either tell them so, or just
pretend that they do understand.
An accent is how you pronounce words in association with your area or locality. Everyone has
an accent. My husband and I were in Ireland visiting his family and they remarked on how
Canadian we sounded!
You don’t need to get rid of your accent. Accents are a part of our diversity. If we all sounded
the same that would be dull! You just need to be clear when you speak.
Here’s my suggestions:
Slow down!
In my experience working with those clients, they confess to me that they’re anxious and just
want to get their presentation over with as fast as they can. So, they speed up!
Remember, everyone wants to hear what you have to say. Take the time to land your thoughts on
Be cool!
Worrying about how you form your words may cause anxiety when you speak. When you’re
anxious you often tense your body and take small snippets of breath. This is not the way to get
your message across.
When we talk with a good friend we usually feel at ease and are comfortable with ourselves.
When you give your presentation, visualize your friend in the room. They’re listening and
engaged in what you have to say.
Watch English speaking movies or the News to hear how people sound and imitate them.
Find someone you know who speaks clearly and record them. It could be someone at work or a
friend. How big do they open their mouths? Where is their tongue and lips placed when making a
You can google dictionary.com and hear the actual sounds.
The International Phonetic Alphabet is an excellent resource which accurately represents the
pronunciation of languages.
Be patient
As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, neither was your accent. You’ve lived with
this accent for a long time. But if you practice and have faith in yourself that you will improve, you will!