Speak English with a Friendly Tone
In my work as an accent reduction coach, one thing I help people to do is speak American English with a warm and friendly tone of voice.
Everyone wants to sound friendly, and there are some specific techniques you can learn to do this.
The Full Stop
Now everyone knows that statements end with a period, right?
Those of you from Asia and South Asia often refer to the period as a “full stop”.
☝ It means stop.
☛ It’s final.
➙ It’s solid.
It’s like a stop sign, Go to the corner and stop!
Unfortunately…. this idea of a full, final and abrupt stop, often carries over in peoples’ spoken English.
What to Do at the end of a Sentence
When you speak American English, that period at the end of a sentence means to RIZE’n FAll.⤵
When Americans speak, we usually say the last word in a sentence, the word before the period, with a slight rise in pitch. Then we ease…. into the stop.
We don’t stop abruptly….not if we want to sound warm and friendly!
Don’t Stop Abruptly!
Now…. you can stop speaking abruptly at the end of a sentence. But when you do that you run the risk of sounding unfriendly, demanding or unpleasant.
You may not intend to project these emotions, but if you stop abruptly at the end of a sentence, your listeners may feel these things. ☹
I know that you don’t want that to happen!
Listen to these Examples
Listen to these examples. It’s easy to hear which statement is more friendly, isn’t it?
- Can you WAit?⤵ (this is nice ’n friendly) ❤
- Can you wait? (this can sound unfriendly) ☹
Did you hear how friendly I sounded when I used the rise ‘n fall technique?
Try to Rise & Fall
So, when speaking American English, ease into the full stop. RIZE’n FAll at the end of a sentence. You’ll sound much more friendly and approachable.
Most of the people who I coach in accent reduction never learned to use the North American RIZE’n fall at the end of sentences.
But….as you can see, this is really important!
Communication is About Connecting
If you’re reading this post, you already know that communication is about connecting with people. When you learn how Americans use rising falling and other types of intonation, you’ll sound more friendly when you speak.
Find Out How You Sound to Americans
If you want to find out how your accent sounds to Americans, I invite you to investigate my Accent Assessment.
On sale until July 15, my Assessment will tell you the most important things you need to learn if you want to communicate at higher level.
You can see that here~ Accent Assessment.
Or, subscribe to my blog over there in the right column. You’ll get tips like this one in you email about 3 times a week.