5 tips to overcome fear or English speaking in public
Let’s delve into a conversation about the most challenging aspect when we first dip our toes into learning English. Can you guess what it is?
That’s right – it’s having to speak English in front of a crowd!
The butterflies in your stomach are all too real, aren’t they?
For many non-native English speakers, public speaking in English can feel like scaling an insurmountable wall. The fear of slipping up or facing judgment can stir up anxiety and pose a roadblock to effective communication.
But here’s the good news – this fear isn’t invincible! With the right strategies and a healthy dose of practice, you can bust through this wall of fear and find your confidence in fluently conversing in English.
In this article, we’re going to tackle five awesome tips to help you face your fear of public speaking in English and polish up your language skills. Ready to discover what they are? Let’s dive in!
1. Acknowledge your fear and anxieties
First things first – overcoming the fear of public speaking in English begins with acknowledging that the fear exists. It’s like the old adage, “The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one.”
Many of us might try to ignore our anxieties or brush them off, but this doesn’t make them disappear. Instead, it can often make the fear seem larger and more overwhelming.
Start by identifying what exactly it is that scares you about speaking English in public. Is it the fear of making a mistake? The worry of others’ judgment? Or perhaps it’s the anxiety of not being able to express yourself accurately. Whatever it is, take a moment to understand it.
Once you’ve identified your specific fears and anxieties, acknowledge them. This doesn’t mean you’re surrendering to your fears. On the contrary, acknowledging your
fears is a powerful way to take control over them. It’s a way of saying, “Yes, this fear exists, but it doesn’t define me.”
This process of self-reflection can be immensely helpful in understanding your own feelings towards speaking English in public. It can uncover the roots of your fear, which is crucial in overcoming it. Remember, it’s perfectly okay to feel anxious. Everyone does! What’s important is not to let these fears and anxieties hinder your progress.
2. Practice speaking English in low pressure situations
Now that you’ve identified and acknowledged your fears, it’s time to start tackling them head-on. And a great way to do this is by practicing speaking English in low-pressure situations.
Consider this – learning to ride a bike doesn’t start on a busy highway. It starts in a calm, quiet place where you can make mistakes and learn from them without the fear of being judged or hurt. Similarly, mastering English public speaking doesn’t have to begin on a large stage. It can start in small, friendly environments where the stakes are low.
Start by speaking English with friends or family who are supportive and understanding. Create an environment that is nurturing and encouraging, where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn rather than failures.
You could also join English-speaking clubs or forums, where you can engage in casual conversations with fellow learners who are likely experiencing the same anxieties as you. This not only gives you ample opportunities to practice but also creates a sense of camaraderie and mutual support.
Additionally, consider using technology to your advantage. There are numerous online platforms that offer language exchange programs where you can practice speaking English with native or fluent speakers.
The key here is consistency. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. Think of it as a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
3. Record yourself speaking English and analyze it
Another incredibly effective method to overcome your fear of public speaking in English is to record yourself speaking and then analyze it. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but trust us, it’s a game-changer.
When we speak, especially in a language that isn’t our native tongue, we’re often too focused on forming sentences and communicating our thoughts that we don’t really listen to how we sound. By recording yourself, you get the opportunity to be your own audience.
Start with a simple exercise: pick a topic you’re comfortable with and record yourself talking about it in English for a few minutes. Then, play it back and listen. How’s your pronunciation? Are you speaking clearly and at a good pace? Are there any habitual mistakes you make?
The aim here isn’t to criticize or judge yourself harshly, but rather to gain a clearer understanding of where you stand and where you need to improve.
Moreover, this practice can help you monitor your progress. You can compare recordings from different periods to see how far you’ve come, which can be an incredible confidence booster.
In addition, listening to your recorded voice can help to normalize the sound of your own English speaking voice. Over time, this will help reduce any discomfort or embarrassment you might feel about speaking English in public!
4. Aim for progress, not perfection
Too often, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to speak English perfectly, especially in public. We fear making mistakes, mispronouncing words, or not being able to find the right words to express ourselves. However, this pursuit of perfection can often be more of a hindrance than a help.
Instead, shift your focus to progress. It’s all about the small steps you’re taking to improve, the new words you’re learning, the grammatical rules you’re beginning to understand, and the increasing comfort you’re finding in speaking English aloud.
Embrace the fact that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. When you slip up, don’t chastise yourself. Instead, view these moments as valuable learning opportunities. Each mistake is a lesson guiding you on how to improve.
Celebrate your victories, no matter how small they might seem. Did you use a new vocabulary word correctly? Did you manage to get through a sentence without stuttering? These are all wins worth acknowledging and celebrating. Over time, these small wins will pile up, and before you know it, you’ll see a significant improvement in your English speaking skills.
Remember, language learning is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, patience, and lots of practice. The aim is to get better each day, not to achieve perfection!
5. Join a language exchange club or an English course
Language exchange clubs can provide a fantastic, interactive platform to practice speaking English. These clubs bring together people who are eager to learn and practice different languages, including English. It’s a mutually beneficial environment where you can practice English while helping someone else learn and practice your native language.
The atmosphere in these clubs is typically relaxed and supportive, with everyone there to learn and improve. This can be a great low-pressure environment for you to practice your English speaking skills, make mistakes, learn from them, and gradually grow more confident.
These clubs also offer an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, learn about their cultures, and make new friends, making your learning journey more enjoyable.
On the other hand, enrolling in an English course, either in person or online, can provide a structured and systematic approach to learning English. With experienced teachers to guide you, a well-designed curriculum to follow, and regular assignments to practice, you can steadily improve your English speaking skills.
In addition, Being part of an English course often means having regular classes, assignments, and assessments, which can serve as a motivation to study regularly. The course structure holds you accountable, encouraging consistent effort. When studying alone, maintaining motivation and discipline can be more challenging.
Overcoming the jitters of speaking English in public might feel like a steep hill to climb, but trust me, with consistent effort and practice, it’s a hill you can conquer!
Remember, speaking a new language is an ongoing journey, not a sprint. It’s all about taking one step at a time. And if you stumble or fall, that’s okay! Each mistake is a chance to learn and grow, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Every bit of progress, no matter how small, is a win. So, whether it’s nailing the pronunciation of a tricky word or feeling more comfortable in a conversation, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re improving, and that’s something to celebrate!
Do you want to speak English with confidence?
Most people lack confidence when they speak English. They are afraid to make mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others.
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Most English courses waste your time and money on useless exercises that don’t bring results. Even worse, they teach you bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn.
As a result, you become confused and lack confidence. This is wrong!
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