As a non-native English speaker, speaking English can be really intimidating. You worry that you're probably going to make mistakes. You're worried that you might use inappropriate words or phrases people might make fun of you.
IT IS STRESSFUL!
In order to get better at speaking English especially for IELTS, it is essential that you feel confident. Here are a few things that you can do to become more confident with speaking English. Practice them in your daily life and by the time you are ready to take your IELTS speaking test you will be, both, confident & fluent in speaking English.
Fake it till you make it!
The best way to feel confident about speaking n English is to pretend that you ALREADY ARE good at speaking English. :-)
When you get a chance to speak in English, grab it! Go ahead and jump into conversations with friends, family and even perfect strangers and speak as if you're completely fluent. Don't worry about making mistakes. As you continue and build your English speaking skills, your fake confidence will be replaced by real confidence.
Your mistakes don't matter
Here's the honest truth .. The people you're speaking with probably don't care whether your grammar is good or bad or whether you used the right word or phrase. They have their own problems to worry about. Most native English speakers are already used to understanding foreign accents. They can easily tune out your mistakes and can understand what you mean.
Additionally, if you lose your train of thought, don’t apologize or show any outward signs of frustration. These reactions only draw attention to the mistake. Minimize inevitable stumbles by taking a sip of water to regain composure. If you still don't remember what you were saying don't worry, just start talking. Chances are that the other person does nto remember what you were saying either.
Avoid long pauses
Just because you're speaking to someone in English doesn't mean that you have to try out every word and every grammatical structure you know. Use simple words and phrases and short sentences to start with. If you can't remember a word don't just become silent until you remember it, rather describe what you are trying to say using other words or phrases. Your listener will soon prompt you with the word and you can laugh about it and keep speaking. Long pauses are HORRIBLE for conversation. They make your listener uninterested and impatient.
Another common problem that many English speakers have is that they fill pauses between words with junk sounds, such as “um,” “ah,” “you know,” “kind of,” “like,” “so,” and “well.”. These habits make speakers look unpolished, unprepared, and unprofessional. To overcome them, start correcting yourself in casual conversations and enlist the help of friends, family members, and colleagues to point out when you slip up.
Make eye contact
If there is one thing that can make you appear instantly confident to others, it is making good lasting eye contact. Hold your gaze on your listener for about 10 seconds before briefly moving your gaze to another person or a distant object. Lingering eye contact builds rapport by giving your listener the feeling that they are engaged in an intimate one-on-one conversation. However don't stare blankly at a person for too long to avoid being labelled creepy.
If you speak in a low voice, not only will others not be able to hear what you say, but you will also portray a submissive demeanour, which suggests the opposite of a confident one.
Fill the room with sound.
Sit or stand with your shoulders straight and your chin up. This will open up your lungs so that you can project your voice by speaking from the diaphragm and not the throat. This will also ensure that your voice is grounded, or on the low end of its natural range. A well-grounded voice allows you to project without straining or becoming hoarse.
Watch for your listeners reactions to gage whether you are too loud or too low. If they are constantly leaning forward then speak louder... on the other hand if they are constantly leaning back then tone down your volume a bit.
Smile, relax & have fun
Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasant to listen to, it also conveys confidence. So show those pearly whites as much as you can. Even if you’re terrified, no one will know if you have a smile on your face. Rest assured, smiling throughout your IELTS speaking test won’t make you look cheesy. You will appear friendly, approachable, and composed. Just relax, enjoy and have fun with English. Just a word of caution ... smiling is not the same as giggling.
Practice, practice, practice
The best way to quickly boost your confidence is to prepare ahead of time for specific situations .... and practice practice practice . Learning specific vocabulary for that situation will make you feel a lot more prepared and confident. For example, if you're going to a job interview, make sure that you know how to describe your education background and job history. If you are a beginner, then you can even prepare full sentences before hand and repeat them several times by yourself to train the muscles of your mouth and throat to produce English sounds. As you become more advanced you can remember key points and then expand on them in real time during your conversation.
Here are some more tips on how to quickly improve your English for IELTS Speaking test:
Click on the playlist below to start learning NOW!
Do you have any other tips for improving your English speaking confidence? Share them in the comments!
Share These Speaking Tips With Your Friends
With all this confidence, what do you plan to do tonight? ;)
Click on Mark Complete button below and move to the next topic when you are ready.
Have questions or comments about this lesson or any other lesson add a comment below.