124 Confidence Speaking

Improving Speaking Confidence

I’ve had a lot of kind audio messages recently and I really appreciate it. You’re always welcome to leave one at levelupenglish.school/podcast and there’s a good chance I’ll reply to it in a future episode.

Today I’m responding to Bishal, answering a question on improving confidence when speaking. I hope you find it useful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of the page.

How much are you actually speaking?

Speaking is a hard thing to improve and sometimes it feels like you can go forever without improving at all.

In my experience, it seems that speaking improves in chunks, rather than gradually. I can feel like I haven’t made improvements for months or even years, but then, all of a sudden, I notice a big boost in confidence and I don’t know why. Maybe that will give you all some reassurance at least.

The first thing to ensure is that you’re actually speaking on a regular basis. Think about other skills like learning a sport or playing an instrument – we have to practice a lot to get good at it.

If you’re really serious about improving, maybe consider challenging yourself to 5 practice sessions a week. This can be with a teacher, language partner or a friend who is also learning English. 

Practice really is all you need. 

Try active listening

Regarding the term “fluently”, it’s important to pick up natural phrases to use in your speaking as well.

It’s possible to be proficient in English and be able to communicate, but still not sound so fluent because you’re talking like a robot and not using natural expressions.

The more active listening you do, the more you will notice collocations and phrases that native speakers use and be able to note them down and practise them yourself.

 

Watch the transcription method I’m using now here.

Vocabulary

  • To fluctuate – To go up and down (like on a graph)
  • To go hand in hand – To go together well, to be closely connected
  • Coherent – Logical and consistent, making sense

Do you have any more tips for improving your speaking confidence?

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