Does Your Accent Get Stronger When You Feel Nervous?

Does Your Accent Get Stronger When You Feel Nervous?

Many of my accent reduction clients have told me

Susan, my accent gets worse when I feel nervous. When I speak up in a large group or at a big meeting, I start to speak too fast. It’s hard for me to control my speech.

Even my clients who have made huge improvements with their spoken English tell me that when they feel nervous they tend to:

  • speak too quickly
  • become hoarse  or squeaky
  • stumble over their words

So what can you do to prepare for “high stakes” speaking situations such as meetings, phone call and key negotiations?

Here are 3 Strategies

1. Breathe ☆

When we have to speak in front of a group, (or even at a virtual meeting) we often become so nervous that we forget to breathe properly.

Lack of proper breath will not support your nice strong voice.

In order to prevent than, be sure to take some deep breaths before speaking. This will calm you down, and give you the air you need to support your best voice.

2. Warm Up Your Voice ☆

There are easy exercises that you can do to warm up your voice before speaking. These warm ups will make your voice sound strong, help you focus your energy & calm yourself down.

One exercise is to hum. Hmmmmmm… feel the vibration in the facial mask area between your mouth & nose. Humming will warm up your vocal chords and bring a nice resonance to your voice.

You can even hum up and down the musical scale a couple of times. Just be sure to breath as you do this. ♫

3. Lip flutters ☆

I first read about lip flutters in Susan Berkley’s book, Speak to Influence. Then my voice teacher recommended that I do these to warm up my vocal chords before my Skype calls. Click on the image above to see the book.

To do lip flutters, purse your lips together and push the air through. Try to push the air from your diaphragm, not from your mouth.

Try These 3 Strategies

So if YOU want to improve they way you speak when you feel nervous, try to warm up and calm down with these 3 easy voice tips.

They are sure to help you sound more clear and confident when you speak at your next important call, meeting or presentation.

Sound More Confident & In Control

As I often tell my accent reduction coaching clients, speaking with a slower pace and rich tones will make you sound more confident and in control. Research indicates that this may be especially important for women. You watch a video on this on my ConfidentVoice Facebook page.


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