The 1% Coaching Method – Quick Speaking Wins

So far we’ve looked at how the 1% coaching method can help you get quick and easy wins in English grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

In this post, I’m going to show you some ways it will help you when you speak English.

Typical speaking problems

Often, there are two main things that make you less confident about speaking English:

– you aren’t confident that you’ll understand the other person, and

– it takes too long for you to find the words you need to reply to the other person

There are lots of things you can do to improve your listening skills (more on this later), but the second problem can be “solved” more easily.

Often we hesitate because the words or phrases we need don’t come to us quickly enough. When we DO remember what we want to say, the conversation has moved on.

So one thing you can do is use a “holding phrase”. These phrases keep the other person listening and waiting – while you find the right thing to say.

I include this in my 1% coaching because it’s a very small thing in itself, but it has a great impact on how you speak and how you can have a conversation. Here are some holding phrases you can use in two different situations.

To give you time while you find the right words to express your opinion

As far as I know …
As I see it …
That’s a good point and / but …
That’s interesting. In fact …
You know something, I think …

To return back to the subject (you now know what you wanted to say!)

Going back to what we were saying …
By the way, on the subject of …
You know, thinking about …

So next time you need to “play for time” and get the other person to wait while you find the right words, use one of these phrases!

I use the 1% Coaching Method to help you find quick, easy improvements in your English that make a big impact.

If you want help in finding ways you can quickly improve your English, book a free 20-minute coaching call with me in the link below!

Yes – I’m ready for this!


3 Expert Strategies For When You Make Mistakes In English

Mistakes are an inevitable part of learning a language. Or, in fact, learning anything at all. We learn something new, test it by using it, make a mistake, test again – this time succeeding.

That’s fine for the theory, but when it happens to us, it can feel very different. Language and communication are such “basic” things, that mistakes make us feel embarrassed.

And when we’re speaking with another person, that embarrassment is public. We can’t hide behind a computer. We’re right in front of another person, with our mistakes – and their reactions – on display.

So when people say that mistakes are a necessary part of language learning, this does nothing to make us feel more comfortable with the mistakes.

That’s why in this post, I wanted to look at some strategies for dealing with mistakes. Because they are inevitable. And because they can make us feel bad.

Changing mindset and perception

First of all, it’s important to realise that very often, our own reactions to our mistakes are different to other people’s reactions to our mistakes.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

In my experience as a Cambridge Speaking Examiner, I’ve tested hundreds of students. After the test, I’ve also heard some of them say “That was terrible” or “I made a huge mistake” or “I’ve failed – I didn’t remember the word”.

But the strange thing is that I didn’t remember any of these “huge” mistakes, and that’s especially true if the student was confident.

During the course of a short conversation, the person you’re talking to will remember the main points of what you said – not every word, and not every mistake.

(Of course, if your English is so grammatically incorrect or if you hesitate before every word, the other person will remember that you found the conversation difficult.)

Native speakers are not teachers

Native English speakers will generally find it very difficult to identify or explain a grammatical mistake. If your message is clear enough, they will also have no problem with mistakes.

But, native speakers are more likely to give you suggestions on vocabulary choice or pronunciation.

3 expert strategies

So, what can you do when you make a mistake in English? In this video, I have 3 more expert strategies for you. Two of these are “mindset” strategies, while the third gives you phrases you can use to repair a mistake.

3 Expert Strategies For When You Make Mistakes

From Zero To Hero In English

One of the biggest challenges when you want to improve your English (or when you want to improve anything) is lack of time.

The people I help have different needs and goals, but they all share the same problem: not enough time for traditional (classroom-based) English courses.

Traditional courses do have their place. They’re great if you want a systemised, gradual approach to learning. They’re also a very good idea if you’re working towards a specific goal like an English exam.

But if you’re on a deadline, or you’ve got an “emergency” (upcoming meeting, presentation or interview, for example), you just don’t have the luxury of time.

So then your biggest question is how can you go “from zero to hero” (or at least make sufficient improvement in your English) in a short period of time?

What can you do and where can you make changes that will get you through the “emergency”? (You can worry about the systemised approach after you’ve dealt with the more immediate problem.)

In this video, I show you two of my best secrets for quickly improving your level – without the need for a traditional English course.

It helps if you have an English coach to work with you, but you can also adopt this approach on your own to start seeing results.

Check it out here – you’ll get great takeaways that will help you next time you’re in a tight spot with your English!

2 Secrets For Great English Speaking

Get my TWO strategies for improving your English quickly – when you don't have time to enrol on an English course. These strategies will help you when you have an "emergency" English situation, like a meeting, presentation or job interview.

Posted by Speak Real English on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

3 Ways To Gain Confidence When You Speak English

What’s your first reaction when you know you’ll have to speak in English – maybe at an international meeting or conference, or when you have company visitors?

You might feel anything from ‘slightly worried’ to ‘complete fear’ or panic.

This is totally normal. If you don’t often speak English, you’ll probably be anxious about ‘performing’ in an important situation. This anxiety can be due to three main reasons:

A fear of making a mistake.
A fear of not understanding when someone else speaks.
A fear that your English isn’t good enough – and that someone will think you’re stupid.

You probably recognise at least one of these – and they’re all “confidence killers”.

Why confidence is so important when you speak English

If you appear confident, people are more likely to listen to you because you show authority. In contrast, if you look scared or if you apologise for your English, people are less likely to take you seriously.

There’s another thing as well. When you speak confidently, people listen to your message – to the meaning behind your words – and not to any English mistakes you might make.

It’s a “virtuous circle”. When people listen and reply to you, you can develop the conversation. This exchange of English gives you confidence, because you know that you can engage with people and build a conversation in English.

That’s why these “confidence killers” are so damaging. When you feel afraid or anxious, you might speak more quietly, you might say less, and you might be more hesitant. When these things happen, people are more likely to hear mistakes and more likely to judge you on your English.

So how do you develop confidence?

You can’t just wave a magic wand and become more confident overnight.

But there are things you can do NOW to minimise any fears you have when you speak English.

In this video, I show you 3 things you can start doing today to build your confidence.

The advantage of these three things is that you can do them relatively quickly – and the first two you can do on your own.

Click the link below to see the video.

How To Speak English More Confidently

5 Ways to Practise Your Speaking

How can you practise your English regularly if you don’t live in an English-speaking country?

Regular speaking practice is essential to stay fluent in English. When you speak regularly, you’re more likely to remember vocabulary and phrases (especially if they’re new words and phrases) and you also get the chance to keep practising the pronunciation.

So, regular practice helps you be prepared for speaking situations – which means you’ll feel more confident and relaxed.

But, unless you’re already taking English classes, it’s difficult to find ways to practise. If you’re also a busy person, finding the time can be a problem.

So here are five simple activities that give you a way to speak English. These activities will increase your confidence and can be done in a short period of time.

1. Start an informal speaking club

Involve your friends or colleagues in English discussion. Two ideas you can use for this are a book club or a film club. Choose a film that you can all watch, or a book that you all want to read. Then invite people to discuss it. Many books have “Book Club Questions” already provided in the back of the book, or you can also prepare questions for the film.

2. Volunteer to help

If you have a few spare hours every week, you can help children with their English homework. Or you can help your town with English-speaking tourists, or your company with English-speaking visitors.

Don’t worry that your English isn’t “good enough”. Most of the time, people are delighted to get offers of help – especially when it comes to helping out with English. You can take on small projects to begin with to build up your confidence.

3. Play a character in a film

This is a great activity to do alone or with a friend. Choose a film and then a character from the film. You’re going to be that character. Then choose a scene from the film where your character speaks. Listen to the dialogue in that scene and try to remember it. Then, play the scene again. This time, mute the volume when your character speaks, with you speaking your character’s dialogue.

Two more tips:
– Watch the scene as many times as you need
– Choose a scene with a small amount of dialogue
– Try to add emotion and feeling when you speak

4. Learn to do something in English

YouTube is full of tutorials on how to do almost anything. Instead of looking for tutorials in your own language, look for them in English. Then follow along (repeating after the instructor) so that you get to use the right vocabulary – and copy natural intonation and pronunciation.

5. Talk to yourself

If you don’t have any friends or family to talk to in English, then talk to yourself!

It sounds strange, but it’s great practice. You can talk to yourself in front of a mirror, or in your car when you have a few spare moments. You can talk about anything – what you are planning to do that day, what your opinion is, or simply to “narrate” your day and say what’s happened. When you “think aloud” like this, you’ll get a good idea of any English vocabulary gaps, or difficult words to pronounce.

Over to you
What’s your favourite speaking practice activity? Let me know in the comments!

Do you need to speak English professionally? Let me help you.