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  • Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's

  • Confident English lesson where we're focused on common fears when speaking

  • English and how you can overcome them. Everyday I hear from my students in

  • emails and in my small group classes and I often hear about three common fears

  • again and again and you might have some of these same fears about speaking

  • English. Those three common fears are often related to the fear of starting

  • conversations in English, the fear of not knowing what to say or what is

  • appropriate or correct to say. The second fear is related to making mistakes in

  • English, the fear of feeling silly in a conversation. And finally the third fear

  • that I often hear about is the fear that no one will understand you or that you

  • won't be able to express yourself correctly the way that you want. If those

  • are some of the fears that you have in English, I want you to know first that

  • you're not alone having those fears and number two we can totally change that. In

  • fact it's what I love most in my work. I love helping my students overcome their

  • fears in English, to overcome feeling shy and nervous so that they can do what

  • they want and what they need. And the reason it's so important is because if

  • you are always afraid to speak, if you never learn how to overcome those fears

  • then you might lose opportunities. You might lose professional opportunities to

  • grow your career or to get a better job; you might lose the opportunity to get a new

  • client to work with your company; maybe it means losing opportunities in

  • an English-speaking country where you live; it means being stressed every day

  • just to go to the grocery store or the bank; and maybe it means it's really

  • difficult to get to know people and make friends. And we don't want any of that. We

  • want it to be easy for you to communicate in English, to feel

  • comfortable, and to know that you can say what you want. So today I want to share

  • with you a couple of practical ways that you can do that. There are just two words

  • that I want to focus on in today's lesson and these two words are

  • everything you need to overcome your fears and to help you advance and be

  • more confident in your English. Those two words are preparation and practice. It

  • sounds super simple but you and I both know it's not so simple. The truth is

  • preparation and practice take time, they require a little bit of work, they might

  • also require some opportunity and even a little bit of courage. Preparation means

  • the process of getting ready, it means that you have to collect information, you

  • have to think and evaluate, and make sure that you have everything you need to be

  • ready for something. If preparation is the process of getting ready, practice is

  • the process of doing something regularly, doing something as a habit. And those two

  • pieces together are what allow you to overcome those fears, to become more

  • confident and sure about what you want to say in your English. I want to share

  • with you an example of why preparation and practice must go together to help

  • you overcome fears and nervousness, and to help you become proficient and

  • confident in what you can do in English. This is an example I often share with my

  • students in Fluency School. Imagine that you play the piano and you're going to

  • learn a new song maybe a new song by Chopin or Mozart and of course before

  • you learn to play a new song you need to get familiar with it, you need to make

  • sure you know how to read music, you need to know where the notes on the piano are,

  • what the different keys do, you need to make sure your piano is in tune.

  • All of that is part of that process of getting ready. And then if you

  • just know how to read the music but you never practice and you have a concert

  • tomorrow it might be really difficult to go to that concert and play perfectly if

  • you've never played the song before. Of course you've read it, you've read the

  • song, you understand reading the music but you've never played it on the piano

  • so it's probably going to be really scary to go to a concert and play that

  • song without knowing exactly how to do it, without the practice. So of course

  • most of us don't do that. Most of us do the preparation and then we practice. The

  • first time you play that song you might be really slow and sometimes you look at

  • the piano, sometimes you look at the music, sometimes you play the wrong note

  • and you have to start over. Sometimes there might be a really difficult part

  • of the song and you have to do it again and again and again. But after the first

  • week it gets much easier you don't have to read the music so much your

  • hands go where they need to go more easily, it feels more natural you, just

  • know what the music is. And of course, with time, eventually

  • you can just play the song. It's easy. You don't think about it, you don't read the

  • music, it's in you. You've got it. That is the process of preparation and practice

  • working together. And now let's go back to language. That is absolutely the same

  • process that we need in becoming confident in English and learning how to

  • say what you want and to not feel afraid in that moment. First strategies for

  • preparation and again remember this is the process of getting everything you

  • need so that you're ready to practice. So when you have to start a conversation

  • and you're nervous about making mistakes, you want to make sure that you're

  • understood, you want to think about what are the things you need for that

  • conversation. Are there specific questions that you

  • need to ask? Is there information that you need to be prepared to share? If

  • there are, then you want to know what those are

  • in advance. That means you need to spend some time thinking about them, maybe

  • doing a little bit of research or even writing some things down. If it's a

  • business meeting and you know that you'll have to share some information,

  • write down what it is that you'll need to share. If you really want to get to

  • know your neighbor and you would love to ask some questions

  • think about what those questions are in advance. Now before we talk about

  • practice, I want to give some practical tips about starting a conversation,

  • asking questions because that's often one of the biggest challenges or areas

  • of fear that my students have. Number one I have a lesson on my 10 favorite

  • questions to start a conversation with anyone. In that lesson I share with you

  • what those questions are, why they are great questions, and how you can use them,

  • who can you use them with. And the second lesson that I have is all about

  • small talk and how to be better at small talk, what kinds of questions can you ask

  • and how can you be ready for any of those situations where you might need to

  • get to know someone and start that conversation. Now let's go to the second

  • part of that equation - that preparation and practice. You've prepared for a

  • conversation, you've prepared questions to ask but now you have to do the work

  • of practice. If your goal is to overcome feeling afraid of speaking, of making

  • mistakes, or of being understood, practice is what will help you do that.

  • Practice is that process of doing something as a habit, doing it regularly

  • or repeating it so that you are proficient at it. Let's imagine that you

  • have a business meeting coming up next week and the meeting will be in English.

  • You know that you will have to present some information and maybe even offer

  • your opinion on a solution to a problem. So of course, before that meeting, you

  • will prepare, think about what it is you need to say, what information do you need

  • to share, but then you need to also practice it. If you want to feel more

  • confident, if you want to not feel afraid to say what you want and to know that

  • you're going to be understood and that you can do it clearly. One easy way that

  • you can do that (in a way that I love doing even with my students) is recording

  • yourself. Use your computer or your smartphone and record yourself by audio

  • or video. This gives you the practice of speaking out loud and then, when you're

  • finished, listen to it. How is it? Are you happy with what you said? Are you happy

  • with how you sound? Are you okay with the vocabulary that you use,

  • the grammar choices that you made? This is a little bit like that first time of

  • playing the piano and maybe as you listen to it you think -

  • oh I don't like that. Or I made a mistake I want to fix it. Just like when

  • you practice playing the piano, when you record yourself, the great thing is you

  • can delete it you can start over and do it again.

  • And through that practice you start to perfect what you want to say, you make

  • changes and improvements, it gets easier to remember the words that you want to

  • use and maybe you change your sentences a little bit but through that process

  • you build confidence in what you're saying, it becomes less scary and you

  • feel more sure about what words you want to use and what grammar you need so that

  • when you go to that business meeting, you've done the preparation, you've done

  • the practice and you're ready. You're ready for that business meeting, you're

  • ready to say what you need or what you want. The awesome thing about recording

  • yourself is you can do it no matter where you live, even if you have no one

  • around you to practice English with. This is something you can do anytime, you can

  • do it for five minutes a day and again that process of doing something as a

  • habit is what will help you build that confidence so that you can do it more

  • easily. The second strategy you can use to help you get that practice that you

  • need is to invest in yourself. If speaking English with confidence is

  • something that is important to you, if it is essential for you to get better

  • opportunities or to feel more comfortable where you live, then invest

  • in it. There are so many wonderful language schools around the world and

  • online. You can hire a tutor, go to a class near where you live, or you could

  • even join me for my Fluency School course which is focused on speaking

  • practice. The reason this second strategy is great

  • is it gives you someone else to work with, whether it's a teacher or a small

  • group. You have others who can help you through the process and support you,

  • encourage you as you practice to perfect your English and be more confident. If

  • you've ever wondered how someone else has become successful in English or how

  • they became so confident, this is exactly how. It is always the process of

  • preparation and practice combined together. This is what leads to

  • overcoming your fears, it is what leads to confidence and the ability to make

  • progress or advance your abilities. Now that you know exactly what it takes or

  • what is necessary to help you overcome fears in English, I have a question for

  • you -- are you ready and are you willing to give English the time and the work, the

  • commitment that it needs so that you can become more confident and to feel that

  • you can speak freely in English? Remember preparation and practice do

  • take time but if you know that your time and your work will be worth it, that they

  • will help you accomplish what you need, would you be ready to do it? This is an

  • important question because it's so easy to be discouraged if you've spent a lot

  • of time studying English, if you've taken classes and bought grammar books and

  • watched videos on YouTube like this, it can be really easy to feel discouraged

  • if you don't see progress. So it's important to ask that question -- are you

  • ready and are you willing to give English a little bit of time and energy,

  • work, commitment every day to see those changes? This is where I would love to

  • hear from you and this is my challenge question for the week -- if you feel that

  • you are ready or maybe you've already started the process of doing a

  • little bit of work in English every day and trying to make progress, what steps

  • are you taking? That's what I want to know. As always, you can share your

  • comments with me in the comment section just below this video. I want to hear

  • from you what steps you are taking to do that process of preparation and practice

  • in your English. When you share your comments, I do always read them, I often

  • provide feedback and you can read what others in the community say. You might

  • get some new ideas or maybe you have a strategy that will be just what someone

  • else needs. With that thank you so much for joining me this week, I love having

  • you here every Wednesday and I'll see you next week for your Confident English

  • lesson.

Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's

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A2 US practice preparation overcome confident process piano

How to Overcome 3 Common Fears When Speaking English

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/09
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