Nonnative English Speakers May Face A Glass Ceiling

Accents aren’t bad!Blocked

I always tell my accent reduction coaching clients that it’s OK to speak with an accent as long as your speech is easy for your stakeholders (whoever they may be) to understand.

But clear communication is important

But sometimes, non native speakers have such heavy accents, that others don’t understand what they’re saying.

This is when speaking with an accent presents a problem.

The Glass Ceiling

Because if your colleagues, customers or other stakeholders (such as potential investors) have to struggle to understand what you’re saying, you may well face a glass ceiling in your career.

Paul Graham

If you followed the comments of Y Combinator’s Paul Graham made last summer (at the link below) you’re already aware of this phenomenon in Silicon Valley.

This is not my opinion, the idea of the glass ceiling is backed up by research recently done at Wharton (also at the link below).

Making changes to the way you speak

The good news is that while you don’t need to eliminate your accent, you may want to make some changes.

☆ Changes that will allow others to understand you more easily.

☆ Changes that will allow others to connect with you more easily.

☆ Changes that will allow others to recognize and appreciate your ideas.

And that’s entirely possible. ☝

You can learn to communicate more effectively

You can learn to speak English in a manner that sounds clear, professional, engaging and easy for others to listen to.

I know this is true, because I help people do it all the time.

Paul Graham & Research from Wharton

Follow this link to read the Paul Graham’s comments and the research from Wharton.


Without Credible


Accent Reduction Coaching 

And if you’re ready to improve the way you communicate, my accent reduction coaching program may be your next step. Every week I work one on one with international professionals, providing them with the techniques, practice and support they need in order to achieve their communication goals.

About the author

Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an American English communication and accent reduction coach.