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  • (cheerful electronic music)

  • - Hello everyone, and welcome back to English with Lucy.

  • Today I am going to talk to you

  • about how you can stop being shy,

  • and start speaking English confidently.

  • My little brother and I were reading comments

  • on one of my videos the other day,

  • and he pointed out one which really made me feel sad.

  • Someone said, "I can't speak English,

  • "because I am a shy person."

  • And I don't know if it was the wording of it,

  • but it really broke our hearts.

  • The fact that somebody doesn't think

  • they can learn a language because they are a shy person

  • made me feel really, really sad,

  • so I decided to make this video to help motivate you all,

  • especially you shy people.

  • I receive a lot of messages about confidence,

  • people saying oh, I wish I was confident like you,

  • but naturally, in certain situations,

  • I can feel so, so shy, and so, so nervous.

  • If you check out the last part of most of my videos,

  • you can see all the times

  • that I mix up my words, and make mistakes.

  • It's completely natural.

  • When I have to speak publicly, I often feel so, so shy.

  • But there are plenty of things that I do,

  • and I have learned to do over the past few years,

  • since I started this channel,

  • that have made me a confident person.

  • And I want to share that with you,

  • so let's get started with the lesson.

  • The first one, this is a well-known tip,

  • but I really believe in it, fake it 'til you make it.

  • And most importantly, don't tell people that you feel shy.

  • Almost a year ago, I was invited to speak about my business

  • at my old university.

  • I had to give a 45-minute talk,

  • all about me and my business,

  • to a room of so many students.

  • And my parents were watching, and my boyfriend,

  • who is now my fiance.

  • I was so nervous, but I think I handled it

  • really, really well.

  • I didn't tell anyone that I was feeling shy.

  • It's okay to be nervous, but don't say you're shy.

  • Saying you're nervous is okay, but saying you feel shy,

  • I think is quite a negative thing to say,

  • and it might influence the way people think about you.

  • I pretended that I was really, really confident,

  • and that I do this kind of thing all the time.

  • When in reality, it was my first time speaking

  • about myself in front of such a large audience.

  • I was scared of boring everyone,

  • I was scared that the person organising the event

  • was going to regret asking me to speak,

  • I was scared of embarrassing myself

  • in front of my boyfriend,

  • I was scared of disappointing my parents.

  • But I walked in there, head held high,

  • I slightly lowered my voice,

  • and I'm pretty convinced that no one knew

  • I was really, really nervous.

  • It was also being filmed and put on YouTube.

  • I will leave the link in the description box.

  • So that was an extra layer of nervousness for me.

  • So what did I do?

  • I pretended I was super confident.

  • I tried to relax how I was standing,

  • I tried to relax my voice,

  • I went outside beforehand just to do

  • some breathing, and to relax myself,

  • and it ended up going really, really well.

  • So how can this apply to you?

  • Not only are you nervous about speaking to someone,

  • but it's also not your native language.

  • You need to pretend that you're confident.

  • You can try lowering your voice slightly.

  • So instead of speaking up here, really nervously,

  • you will speak in a low voice,

  • and have it echo across the room. (laughs)

  • Work on your posture, feet apart, nice and tall,

  • shoulders relaxed, really show the other speaker

  • that you're comfortable being there.

  • And as I said before, don't tell anyone you're shy,

  • because sooner rather than later,

  • you will start to feel more confident,

  • you probably won't even realise it,

  • and then you might regret having told someone

  • that you're a shy person.

  • It doesn't have to be that way.

  • You don't have to be shy.

  • The next tip I have for you is listen,

  • and learn from other confident speakers.

  • When I try out a new hobby,

  • I often want to see how an expert does it.

  • If you really want to learn how to be more confident,

  • and how to speak more confidently,

  • you need to listen to experienced and confident speakers.

  • Make it part of your daily routine.

  • Once you've found somebody

  • and pinpointed who you want to sound like,

  • try and imitate them a little bit.

  • Make it your own, but take elements of their confidence

  • and elements of their speech.

  • For example, I really, really like

  • and admire the way Stephen Fry speaks.

  • So, I make a point to listen to him speaking frequently.

  • A great way that you can implement listening

  • to a confident speaker for a little bit of time

  • every single day, is by listening to audiobooks.

  • I recommend Audible.

  • You can click the link in the description box

  • to get a free audiobook, that's a 30-day free trial.

  • I really, really recommend listening to Stephen Fry

  • narrating the Harry Potter series,

  • or you could try listening to books on public speaking,

  • or books on eliminating and combating shyness.

  • I've got some recommendations

  • in the description box as well.

  • Tip number three,

  • this is something that I've spoken about before,

  • but I 100% recommend it.

  • It is, rehearse and prepare

  • your best stories and monologues,

  • and things that you know you will have to say

  • time and time again.

  • Make a habit of talking to yourself

  • and practising your best stories,

  • and the answers to the most frequent questions.

  • Where are you from, what are your hobbies,

  • what's your job, what would you like to do in the future?

  • Tell me about yourself, that's such a big one.

  • And it makes me feel nervous when someone

  • asks me that in my own language,

  • so I can only imagine how hard it is for you,

  • especially if you're shy.

  • Practise it, maybe even write it down at first,

  • and then practise it until you know it off by heart.

  • You don't want to know it word for word,

  • you just want to know

  • that when somebody asks you that question,

  • you know what to say, and you can say it with confidence.

  • I also said, practise your favourite stories.

  • These are great ways to fill gaps in conversation.

  • I've got a few funny ones that I've told in videos,

  • like my waitressing mistakes,

  • or the lovely story about my dad's fairy book.

  • Links to those are also in the description box.

  • Those are stories that I like to tell at dinner parties,

  • and people like being around good storytellers,

  • so it's really, really important

  • to learn how to tell a good story.

  • And treat each time you tell a story as practise.

  • Gauge their response.

  • Did they react well to what you said?

  • Did they find it boring?

  • Make the necessarily tweaks.

  • Then, after 20 times of telling this story,

  • hopefully to different people each time,

  • try not to repeat yourself, (laughs)

  • you will tell it beautifully.

  • Right, my next tip is practise asking questions.

  • Learning how to say questions correctly is so important,

  • but also quite difficult in English.

  • But it's so important for shy people,

  • because it means that if you need a break from speaking,

  • you can pass the baton to the other person.

  • Examples, so how did you get into your career path?

  • Or, if you could do one thing differently,

  • what would you do?

  • That opens up an opportunity for the other person

  • to tell their story, and to talk a bit,

  • so you can have time for a rest.

  • Most people enjoy talking about themselves,

  • and they also appreciate good listeners.

  • And you can be both of those by asking questions.

  • The only thing you have to do is learn

  • and remember how to ask them correctly.

  • I always have a couple of questions up my sleeve,

  • so that if I'm feeling nervous or shy,

  • I can quickly ask someone something,

  • and we can continue the conversation that way.

  • And, there's no pressure on me.

  • Number five is don't take yourself too seriously.

  • The best way to bond with people is to laugh,

  • and especially to laugh at yourself.

  • If I feel shy about something,

  • sometimes I make a joke about it.

  • I remember when I was learning Spanish,

  • I was so embarrassed about making mistakes,

  • but actually, those mistakes ended up

  • being my funniest stories in Spanish.

  • If you speak Spanish, and you want to hear about my funny,

  • or at least I think they're funny, (laughs)

  • Spanish mistake stories,

  • and such (speaking in foreign language).

  • And I'll leave the link in the description box.

  • I laugh at myself, basically,

  • for a full 10 minutes. (laughs)

  • Embrace making mistakes.

  • They are such a powerful tool.

  • Not only do you learn from them,

  • but you can also create comedy from them.

  • But if you're quite obviously uptight

  • and really embarrassed about your mistakes,

  • it puts the other person, or your audience,

  • in a really awkward situation.

  • You don't want people cringing for you,

  • you want people to feel comfortable

  • that they can laugh along with you.

  • Keep a note of all these funny mistakes that you've made,

  • and then maybe one day,

  • you can meet somebody else that's shy,

  • when you're already fluent in English,

  • and you can make them feel better and tell them

  • about your ridiculous experiences.

  • Number six, meet and talk to as many

  • different people as possible.

  • In your life, you are going to meet so many people

  • that you will never, ever meet again.

  • So if you do embarrass yourself in front of them,

  • if the worst does happen, it doesn't matter.

  • You might think about it again,

  • they might think about it again,

  • but if you don't ever see them again, it doesn't matter!

  • Take the opportunity to speak with strangers,

  • to go out and meet people,

  • to talk to as many different people as possible.

  • Confidence for shy people comes with practise.

  • An example, I never really made

  • my own friends before, as an adult.

  • I always just had friends from childhood,

  • or friends that I shared with my partner,

  • and when I moved to this village, I was new,

  • my fiance was new, we didn't know anyone,

  • but I really wanted to make friends.

  • But I felt really shy.

  • But we started going out sometimes together,

  • sometimes apart, and making real efforts to talk to people.

  • If we recognised someone, we would say hello.

  • I would sometimes pop to the coffee shop

  • on my own and talk to the people there.

  • Or go to the pub and see the same people

  • over and over again, and get to know them very, very slowly.

  • At first, it felt really awkward, and I felt really shy.

  • But now we just really enjoy being able

  • to go anywhere in our village and know people.

  • Had we allowed ourselves to be naturally shy,

  • as we are, that wouldn't have happened.

  • It was by practising speaking

  • to as many different people as possible,