Most of us hesitate to speak in English because of lots of apprehensions. Some of them are like
-grammatical mistakes you could make or
-due to lack of confidence or
– You are too bad at expressing myself in non-mother language.
At the same time, we can not neglect the importance of English as
-Most countries consider English as their third language,
-It makes communication easier,
-It gives advantage in personality tests thus opens up many job opportunities,
-It can make our travelling easier if we go to places which do not know other mother languages,
-Mother language of 53 countries with more than 400 million people residing there,
-An important language from the business perspective,
-Gives us access to multiple cultures,
-Widely used in the media industry among many.
Therefore, Accepting that English isn’t your Mother language and not knowing how to speak in English is not something you should be ashamed of. Acceptance will drop you in a comfortable position in order for you to learn how to speak in English.
Though, it is true that we get little relief by not facing the fear like ignoring the podiums for English speaking or avoiding the meetings or get-togethers where we have to speak in English anyway; but, in the long run, this little relief multiplies your fear. As it is always said, the only way to get over the fear is to face the fear upfrontly instead of running yourself away from that.
The main reason behind the fear of speaking in English is the “Depression” & “Anxiety” due to multiple apprehensions as some of them listed above. Few ways can be comfortably opted for getting over this fear-
• We can follow the concept of “Graded exposure” which includes listing down your uncomfortable thoughts regarding your fear and work upon them one by one starting the list from the most comfortable thought and upscaling the uncomfortableness in the thoughts as we slide down the list that may take 10 or 15 or 20 or any number of pointers in the list. For instance,
• First most comfortable thought can be- Speaking one sentence in English to yourself.
• Speaking the same sentence to yourself in front of the mirror.
• Speaking the same sentence to your sibling or mother or father.
• Speaking at least one minute in English to your best friend over the phone call.
• Speaking a speech for 5 minutes on a podium in front of an audience of 500 in English fluently.
• Working one by one on these points and ticking them that way can increase your confidence considerably and one day, you will be able to achieve .
Another approach can again be pointers but this time generalised ones like
• First of all, believe that this journey is not being covered by you alone, there are many like you who struggle everyday for these objectives. Thus the first and the foremost point is to decrease your anxiety and to increase your confidence. You can use meditation or yoga to increase your concentration and you have to learn to relax by taking a minimum 10 deep breaths before you start giving a speech in English.
• Choose a topic really close to your heart and for which you are considerably confident that you have enough material to deliberate upon. It can be a blunder if you start speaking in English on an uncomfortable topic as it can double your uncomfortableness as well as anxiety.
• Take enough pauses in your speech. It is indeed important to help you to recall what to speak next and to help the audience to remain captive to you while delivering the speech at their comfortable pace, else, you can lose the connection with the audience.
Mock up your speech with someone you are comfortable with, maybe someone at your home or to your friend, in order to gain an insight of cross questions and the reactions of the audience which will help you in your actual speech.
Practice in front of the mirror for dual objectives-
• to observe and improve your facial expressions to attract the audience positively.
• to see the body gestures while delivering speech.
Thus, if we follow this way, we can easily achieve our objective of getting over the fear of speaking in English and positively face the world with positive outcomes.