As with other skills or hobbies, learning how to speak a foreign language takes a lot of patience and practice. Practice means constant and correct application of grammar rules and appropriate expressions in different situations and contexts. Doing so would definitely help you gain confidence as you speak more often.
The following are some time-tested tips for helping you gain confidence in speaking English.
Actively listen for understanding
Trying to listen to the speaker while thinking of how to respond is an ineffective way to listen. If you fully understand a statement or question, then it would be easier for you to respond more accurately.
Avoid using sentence fillers
Using sentence fillers like “um,” “er,” and “uh” is common even among native speakers. But if you are in a business meeting or giving a presentation to clients, you can’t afford to sound unsure or uncertain by using sentence fillers. You can try to replace them with connecting words or phrases, like conjunctions or discourse markers.
One common misconception in language learning is that mistakes should be avoided. However, making mistakes as you practice speaking in a foreign language is part of the learning process. The important thing is recognizing them and correcting them right away, even as you speak. Self-correction is also a good sign of self-awareness, which definitely builds self-confidence.
Practice with a colleague or friend
If you want to accelerate your language skills while building confidence, one of the best things to do is to allot some time each day just to practice speaking English. Try to find a language buddy with whom you can converse in English whether you’re having lunch, drinking coffee, or talking about sports.
What are you waiting for? Start building your confidence in speaking today!