When you have an important English event, like a job interview, speaking exam or international work meeting, the first step is to prepare well. This will help you to feel confident so that you can speak more fluently.
Here are three ways that you can prepare for these important English events, so that you make a good impression.
1. The first two minutes
The first one or two minutes is the most important time. It’s when you make the first impression on someone. If you appear confident, the other person (or people) will also feel relaxed – and they are less likely to hear mistakes!
Tip: Prepare your introduction really well so that you feel more confident about it. Then, smile and make eye contact.
2. Prepare examples
This is especially important for an interview, where you’ll need to show that you have the right skills for a job. Typical questions ask you how you acted in a particular situation. For example, “Tell me about a time when you led a team” or “Describe a time when you had to prioritise”. You can prepare short examples to show what you did and what the result was.
Preparing examples is also useful for speaking exams, where you might need to say something about yourself, such as why you’re learning English.
In a work meeting, you might also need to introduce yourself and talk about the purpose of the meeting.
Tip: Your examples and introduction don’t need to be long. Aim to speak for one to two minutes.
3. Record yourself
The best way to get confident is to practise again and again. You can use your mobile phone to do this.
The first time you record yourself, you probably won’t like or enjoy it. But keep going and it will become more natural for you. Listen for the mistakes or the times that you didn’t remember the right words, then record yourself again. Where were the improvements, and which areas still need work? Then record yourself a third, even fourth or fifth time, so that you feel more confident.
Tip: Your aim is to improve your confidence so you feel more sure about what you’re saying. Your goal shouldn’t be to “memorise” every word or to speak super fast. Don’t forget – the other person will still need time to hear you and process what you’re saying!
If you use English for work or for study, you need to do MUCH more with your English than just have a simple conversation! Often, you’ll need to speak English with authority so that you can persuade, lead, influence or motivate other people. For this, you need a greater variety of English speaking skills.
In my program Advanced English Speaking In 100 Steps, I show you many ways that you can impress and influence with your English. These ways are often simple – but highly effective. Check out the program here: