How to Become a More Confident English Speaker

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How to Become a More Confident English Speaker

Many people have a difficult time speaking in English with confidence.

When speaking in their native tongue, they’re fine—they’re not a shy or introverted person. But as soon as they start speaking in English, they get nervous, embarrassed and sometimes even too afraid to speak.

A lot of people think the solution to this problem is to learn more English. They think studying more grammar or hiring a private teacher will help them fix their lack of confidence.

While these things may help to a certain extent, there’s a much deeper underlying issue.

Being Confident is Not About How Much English You Know

motivation2Being a confident speaker has little to do with how much English you know. Sure, the better your English is, the more likely you’ll be confident when speaking. But there’s no reason why someone with little English speaking skills can’t still speak with confidence. So why is this so rare?

Speaking a second language with confidence, especially when you don’t speak the language that well, has a lot to do with your mindset (or attitude).

Speaking with confidence is not about how much English you know. It’s about how confident you are about yourself.

If you’re afraid of making mistakes, then you won’t be speaking with confidence. If you think making mistakes makes you look dumb, then you won’t be speaking with confidence,

If you’re embarrassed about your level of English, then you won’t be speaking with confidence.

I’ve noticed that even many advanced speakers have these problems. They have a really

good understanding of the English language, but still don’t speak with confidence. They think it’s an English problem. It’s not. It’s a mindset problem.

Embrace Mistakes

If you want to speak with confidence, no matter your level, you need to embrace making mistakes and learning to laugh at them. A lot of times, mistakes are funny! So learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself to seriously. Don’t think you need to be perfect.

Don’t worry about how long you’ve been learning English for and how you “should be better.” Thinking like this isn’t going to do you any good.

When you completely accept the level that you’re at, and don’t act like it’s a crime that you don’t speak English like a native, then you’ll find that you’ll have a much easier time speaking with confidence.

Focusing too Much on Grammar Only Makes the Problem Worse

goldfish jumping out of the waterSome people think that the answer to becoming more confident in speaking English is by learning more grammar. But this oftentimes can have the opposite effect.

While grammar can be good in limited doses, focusing too much on it tends to make you concentrate too much on your mistakes. It tends to make you think less of your ability to speak English. And it might make you take a more analytical instead of natural approach.

Maybe the reason you’re not as confident in your English speaking abilities as you would like to is because you focus too much on grammar?

While grammar is important in it’s own way, it’s not going to do much to help you become a more confident speaker.

Even some native speakers, who speak with perfect grammar, still have trouble talking with confidence in their native language. Why is this? It’s because they’re embarrassed about saying something stupid, they’re afraid of making mistakes, and they’re unsure of themselves.

It’s definitely not because their English isn’t good enough!

You may not want to think that the reason you’re not as confident as you’d like to be when speaking English has more to do with the way you think and less to do with your level of English.

One of the traps people get in is they think, I just need to learn more English and then I’ll be comfortable talking. This is backwards! The best way to learn English is to start talking immediately. And the best way to develop confidence is to speak as long as you’re okay with making mistakes.

So next time you start speaking in English become aware of how you react to making mistakes or to not understanding someone.

How does it make you feel?

Ask yourself, why do I feel this way? Why do I feel like I should have perfect English?

Learn to play with the language. Stop taking yourself so seriously and getting frustrated when you forget a word. Laugh at yourself instead of getting upset.

The more you start to take a more relaxed approach to speaking English, the more you will start to speak with confidence.

Remember, speaking with confidence has less to do with your level of English and more to do with how you think.

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