Should I Speak English Quickly or Slowly?
Many of my accent reduction coaching clients tell me,
“Susan, Americans speak quickly, so I think that I should speak quickly too.”
Here is my advice on this topic ☝
Native speakers speak quickly
Many American born speakers DO speak English quickly.
They’re able to do this and still be UNDERSTOOD because…
1. They reduce and reduce the less important words together using reductions, contractions & linking
2. They emphasize the important words using pitch emphasis.
Pitch emphasis & pauses
Good native speakers stress important words using vowel length and a slight rise in pitch. ⤴
The very best speakers will pause briefly after each important word.
Ahhhh! As listeners, we love that! ♡ We love it because it gives us time to process what the speaker has said.
The pace & rhythm of spoken American English
Most non native speakers never learned to reduce & compact some words while emphasizing focus words.
That’s why you should not try to speak fast, unless you get some training.
Speaking fast with a clear pace
You CAN learn to speak English quickly & CLEARLY if you study and practice the following features of the spoken language:
- How to emphasize focus words & and insert pauses
- How to use linking
- How to use contractions
- How to use stressed & reduced vowel sounds
Learning these skills takes practice, self reflection & dedication.
It’s not easy and you won’t learn to do this in a month. But…clear and engaging speech CAN be achieved!!
I can show you how
If you’re an international professional, who’d like to learn how to speak with a pace that Americans understand, check out my training programs by following the link below.
My training programs will teach you how speak American English in a way that your colleagues will respect and understand!
Free trial lessons are available for you to use.
About the author
Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an American English communication and accent reduction coach.