Plan and speak with confidence
Is natural to feel nervous when speaking in your second language, but successful people project an image of themselves that is steady and sure. The best way to cultivate this kind of confidence is to always have a good plan. In your own language you don’t have to think too much about the things you say, and any planned speaking you do is probably limited to presentations. In English, you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident if you take the opportunity to think about what you’ll say before you have to say it.
Most of us have carefully scheduled work lives; we know when we’re going to have an important meeting with a client, a tricky phone call to make or a team lunch coming up where significant plans will be discussed.
A lot of the time you can benefit from studying Business English one to one with a teacher who can help you with exactly this sort of thing. Take some time to think about what your message is and how you want to present it. Use your best language, give yourself a few key phrases that sound firm and natural and practice.
You can also practice the conversations you’re most important in a low-stakes way. For example, if you’re someone studying in business courses in Galway, you can call a local hotel to ask about the cost of booking a conference room. No one will suffer if you make a mistake, you’ll have practice speaking to a native speaker in an authentic situation, and most important of all: you’ll feel more confident.
Correct and improve
A one to one teacher can also help you a lot by pointing out your specific mistakes and helping you correct them. Speaking accurately helps to avoid confusion but even more importantly to build your confidence. Keep track of your most common mistakes and phrases you’ve been corrected on so that you can work on avoiding them outside of classes. Take advantage of the native speakers in your office and encourage them to correct you or help upgrade your language when you can.
Often, the errors that we correct ourselves are the ones that really stick in our minds, so make sure you always read over anything you write in English yourself before you ask someone else to edit it for you. If you attend classes at our English school with other students, listen for error that your peers make and try and learn from them.