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Slow down! Speaking tips

It does not matter which language you choose to use. If you struggle to communicate well, then people may not understand you at all.

Daniil Iaskelevich
Daniil Iaskelevich

“Could you repeat what you have said just now?” — Does this sound common? If not, then you are doing great or have not spoken a foreign language to someone who speaks it too. Imagine when a teacher communicates incredibly fast, and... you cannot understand it! There is no way to learn this way! It is difficult to bear!

It does not matter which language you choose to use. If you struggle to communicate well, then people may not understand you at all.

It is okay, really. There is no need to panic. When we speak our native language, we are used to speaking fast and furiously, because it helps us communicate sentences and thoughts much swifter. It also saves us time.

Reasons and consequences

However, by doing fast-paced speaking in a different language (in which we are not super advanced yet), we can suffer unpleasant consequences. Many of our words can appear blurred and poorly pronounced. We may also skip some of them and lose parts of the sentence. Besides, by speaking a foreign language quicker, we need to think ahead or do it by habit to perform well.

How to improve your speech, speaking a foreign language

With these tips, your speech shall improve tremendously. It is not wrong to have space when you talk. In fact, it gives you the advantage to think over what you are going to say, which is crucial, especially, during debating and arguing. Here are three ways to maneuver among words:

Take pauses

Sometimes even I cannot think ahead of what I am going to say, so I slow down and prepare, taking small breaks. It is simple! When you feel that you are about to speak chaotically (losing control) — take brief pauses before you finish your saying.

For Example:

I think (here is your pause) we need to (why not pause here?) prove ourselves worthy of (here is your potential another pause) their (possibly, pause) attention.

Do not overuse them, though! Keep it gentle and balanced. Your brief pause should not be longer than 5 seconds, and you should not not put too many of them in a sentence.

You can also try to focus your pause on the last spoken element (for example: ...we need toooooooo (your pause)). It sounds connected.

Go with a question

If pauses do not help, and you feel you are still in trouble when you finish — ask a question. Ask about their opinion, or anything related to the conversation or speech. It will diverge you from speaking. Moreover, it allows you to think ahead and also find a possible way to continue the conversation based on their answer.

Have a calm and careful speech

Lastly, calm down and do not think about it too much. Speak at the pace you feel comfortable, be confident in what you are saying, and think before saying anything. Once you said what you intended to — there is no need to add more, unless it is crucial or the response to someone’s question or reaction.

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Daniil Iaskelevich

Hi! My name is Daniel. I teach English and Russian. And I have extensive knowledge to share with you.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

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