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  • Looking for a public speaking course

    Hi group,
    Not sure it's a right place to ask but your opinion is very competent for me. I'm looking for a course of public speaking. Actually English is not my mother tongue and when I speak, though it's clear what I'm trying to say, it's still heard that it's a foreingner's speach (or now it's seen so. Maybe I'm looking for a good English course but anyway even in Russian (wich is my mother tounge) I'd like to improve my skills of public speaking. Any practice recomendations or advice?

    Thanks in advance,
    Roman

  • #2
    Toastmasters International is the "classic" group for developing confidence in public speaking. There are chapters in most cities in the U.S. I don't know about Canada or elsewhere.

    In today's world, speaking English (or any other language!) with a "foreign" accent should be understood as a sign of ability in more than one language!

    As you practice public speaking, English vocabulary will probably come to you more easily, but if you're asking about "accent reduction," I don't know what to tell you.

    Maybe Toastmasters is what you have in mind.

    Cynthia

    Comment


    • #3
      I think I understand the issue raised by rytrom.

      I am a native English speaker who deals with Eurpoean people who speak English as a second language every day. The ESL people.

      One issue is accent - how you say the letter sounds. A speech therapist should be able to help. In my opinion, though, this is not the highest issue.

      Many ESLs always put the accent (stress) on the first syllable of a word. They say COM-pu-ter when I say com-PUH-ter. In English, many words have the accented syllables after the first. It is a dead giveaway to accent the wrong syllable.

      Another issue is the "ing" verb form. I say "I'm going to the store." ESLs say "I go the the store now." Another issue is future action. I say "I'll pick that up later." ESLs say "I pick that up later." To my ear, another dead giveaway.

      Another issue is rhythm. There is a flow to the speech of Americans that seems not to come naturally to ESLs. I guess when you learn a language by sound as a kid, you learn phrases and so can rattle them off without conscous thought, pausing slightly between phrases to form the next thought in your head, whereas someone who is translating in their head spaces the words according to how quickly they remember the translation.

      There is also a concept in English to slur together the last sound of a word with the first of the next. I say " This sis" almost like it is one word. ESLs say "This is" as two separate words. I can't come up with a set of rules as to which words this applies to.

      I don't know how to correct these issues, just thought that pointing them out might be helpful.

      Ken

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd Look for the local Toastmasters club in your area.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kglade
          I think I understand the issue raised by rytrom.

          I am a native English speaker who deals with Eurpoean people who speak English as a second language every day. The ESL people.

          One issue is accent - how you say the letter sounds. A speech therapist should be able to help. In my opinion, though, this is not the highest issue.

          Many ESLs always put the accent (stress) on the first syllable of a word. They say COM-pu-ter when I say com-PUH-ter. In English, many words have the accented syllables after the first. It is a dead giveaway to accent the wrong syllable.

          Another issue is the "ing" verb form. I say "I'm going to the store." ESLs say "I go the the store now." Another issue is future action. I say "I'll pick that up later." ESLs say "I pick that up later." To my ear, another dead giveaway.

          Another issue is rhythm. There is a flow to the speech of Americans that seems not to come naturally to ESLs. I guess when you learn a language by sound as a kid, you learn phrases and so can rattle them off without conscous thought, pausing slightly between phrases to form the next thought in your head, whereas someone who is translating in their head spaces the words according to how quickly they remember the translation.

          There is also a concept in English to slur together the last sound of a word with the first of the next. I say " This sis" almost like it is one word. ESLs say "This is" as two separate words. I can't come up with a set of rules as to which words this applies to.

          I don't know how to correct these issues, just thought that pointing them out might be helpful.

          Ken
          Being ESL, I wonder if correction of these issues is really crucial for proper understanding of ESLs?

          TesTeq

          Comment


          • #6
            Accent Traing

            You may want to try the Book+CDs by http://www.americanaccent.com/

            They also offer tele-coaching.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks folks for the advice!
              I didn't mean accent reduction courses. Maybe toastmaster clubs is a good idea. I'll check it and update you.

              Thanks again

              Comment


              • #8
                There's a course on cassette... "The Sound of Your Own Voice" that's pretty good. It requires you record yourself and listen back critically (against certain criteria). If that kind of thing is your bag, I recommend it.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Being ESL, I wonder if correction of these issues is really crucial for proper understanding of ESLs?

                  TesTeq
                  TesTeq:

                  I don't think these issues are crucial for understanding.

                  from the original post...
                  when I speak, though it's clear what I'm trying to say, it's still heard that it's a foreingner's speach
                  From this I gathered that rytrom was understood but wanted to reduce the "foreign-ness" of his speech.

                  Ken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Looking for a public speaking course

                    I recommend ToastMasters International (www.toastmasters.org).

                    Toastmasters has chapters across the globe, and most citiies have many clubs to chose from. It provides a proven process for improving your skills, and a friendly, supportive atmosphere to practice. Highly recommended, regardless of your native toungue or current abilities.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've joined it already! Thanks for a great idea.

                      Another suggestion came to me was to practice in writing English and find somebody to check and correct written articles. Don't know where to find such a service but sounds like a good idea as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dale Carnegie

                        I would highly recommend Dale Carnegie's course. Its the accelerated version of Toastmasters.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dale Carnegie

                          I would highly recommend Dale Carnegie's course. Its the accelerated version of Toastmasters.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've taken the Dale Carnegie course, and am presently a Toastmasters member.

                            If you can afford the $1500 (or if your employer is willing to pay for it), Dale Carnegie is an excellent "boot camp" for speaking skills, as well as other leadership skills.

                            Toastmasters, is a good place not only to learn public speaking, albiet at a more relaxed pace. It is a great resource to take advantage of even if you've taken a more intensive course like Dale Carnegie's, as it allows you to keep in practice, by having a place to speak on a regular basis.

                            Some Toastmaster clubs, from time to time offer their own speech course called "Speechcraft", usually given by more experienced Toastmasters.

                            Comment

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