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  • Good morning, good afternoon or even good evening, depending on where in the world you

  • happen to be right now. In today's lesson we're going to talk a little

  • bit about being shy or being confident when you are speaking English to people.

  • Actually today's lesson was a request from one of my YouTube viewers and that person

  • said "I have a chance to meet foreigners once a

  • week but ... when in front of them, I get nervous and my mind goes blank, so I can't speak

  • English at all. What should I do?" Today I'm going to try and answer that question

  • as best as I can and I am going to give you five tips for speaking English confidently In a group of people.

  • Welcome back.

  • We actually have a word in English to describe this feeling of our minds going blank when

  • faced with people. This feeling of freezing in front of people.

  • We say "stage fright." A "stage fright" of course comes form the idea

  • of performing or acting on a stage in front of people.

  • The Free Dictionary defines stage fright as acute nervousness associated with performing

  • or speaking in front of an audience. A little nervousness is never a bad thing,

  • however if you become too nervous we can't think straight and we can't perform properly

  • in front of people. This feeling of shyness basically comes down

  • to three fears. I talk about those three fears, and how you

  • can overcome them, in a lot of detail in a special report, or bonus lesson, that I made

  • you can find out more about that if you join the Doing English newsletter.

  • First of all, it is important that you remember that it isn't just you that feels shy or

  • nervous. In fact everyone feels shy and nervous to

  • a certain extent. It's just that some people are much better

  • at ignoring it or hiding it from other people. But the fact remains, that everyone feels

  • shy and nervous. So don't think it is just you that feels that

  • way. It isn't. It's everyone.

  • my first tip is simply to prepare. If we have no preparation, then we will feel

  • more nervous because we don't know what to expect.

  • And that will make it much harder for us to get over our nervousness.

  • So try and imagine in advance the kinds of things you might need to talk about.

  • Or the kinds of people might meet. Think about what you might say and work out

  • how you could say it. If you don't know the English now is a good

  • time to find out. Also you can prepare a topic to talk about.

  • It could be anything for example if you've read an interesting book recently find out

  • how you would talk about that interesting book.

  • Prehaps you won't need that topic. But regardless of whether you need it or not,

  • you will feel much better for having something ready that you can talk about easily if you

  • need it. It might seem like a lot of trouble to prepare

  • in this way but actually over time you will find that more and more you don't need preparation.

  • That you don't need to prepare a topic. Because you will get used to being in this

  • kind of situation. And things will naturally be much easier and

  • make you feel less nervous. Something that has always worked very well

  • for me is to set a "nervous stop time". What does that mean?

  • Think of it this way You're going to meet a group of people at

  • 12:30 in the afteroon. Allow yourself the first 30 minutes to feel

  • really nervous don't try to stop yourself from feeling really nervous.

  • Just go with it. But after that 30 minutes is over, at 1:00,

  • at that time you have to stop. You have to stop feeling nervous and just

  • get on with it. By allowing yourself to have this 'nervous

  • time', this first 30 minutes it is actually much easier to get it out of your system.

  • And to get over it. So when we reach our stop time at 1:00 you

  • can just forget all about feeling shy and nervous.

  • My third tip seems very simple and very basic, but it is something that often people fail

  • to do. Introduce yourself to, or greet, everyone

  • as quickly as you possibly can. Again, this sounds very basic but actually

  • making the first contact is the hardest part and the longer you leave it the harder it

  • will be. So just do it.

  • Get it done fast. Make first contact and then after that, things

  • will be much easier. You can also think of it like this:

  • Everybody is probably feeling the same as you are that means, if you stop thinking about

  • yourself and start thinking about other people you're actually making things much easier for

  • them if you introduce yourself quickly. Also, introduce other people that you know,

  • or that have just met to the new people that you meet.

  • This will make it much easier for everyone to join a conversation.

  • And it will also mean that people will turn to you as a person who they can trust and

  • talk to easily. Basically stop thinking about yourself, and

  • start worrying about other people, and things will be much easier and much smoother.

  • My forth tip is to be authentic, and true to yourself.

  • Now, this works two ways. First of all, don't apologise for yourself.

  • As an English learner speaking English as a second language it is only natural that

  • you might make mistakes. Maybe you will make grammar mistakes.

  • Maybe you will misunderstand some things that people say.

  • Maybe they will mistunderstand you. But it doesn't matter.

  • Everybody understsand that you are an English learner. And nobody minds about these mistakes.

  • So don't feel like you have to apologise for them.

  • At the same time, don't try to make yourself seem much greater than you are.

  • When they get nervous, many people will exaggerate and boast about the things that they have

  • done and have achieved. You don't need to do this.

  • Be humble. Be authentic.

  • Be honest about yourself. And people will respect you for it.

  • My fifth tip today, and possible the most important, is to talk less and listen more.

  • Everybody likes to talk about themselves which means for you, if you want to seem like somebody

  • who is a very good talker, and is very good communicating with people the best thing you

  • can do is to give them a chance to talk about themselves and to listen with interest.

  • Instead of talking about things yourself try to find questions to ask.

  • Ask things to other people, and listen to their answers.

  • What sort of things should you ask? It doesn't matter.

  • Again, the point is simply that people like to talk about themselves.

  • So think of something. Thing of anything and ask them that.

  • Listen and keep the conversation going by asking more questions.

  • And that is it for today. So just remember everybody gets nervous.

  • Everybody gets stage fright. But it isn't something which has to stop you

  • from doing what you want to do. Just follow the tips in this video, and soon

  • you'll forget all about feeling nervous. My question for you today, is do you have

  • any tips of your own for overcoming nervousness and feeling more confident when speaking to

  • people in English? If you do, leave us a comment under this video.

  • And I will see you in the next lesson.

Good morning, good afternoon or even good evening, depending on where in the world you

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"Speak English Confidently" 5 tips for no more nervousness @doingenglish

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    Kenji Chang posted on 2014/03/29
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