In this post I’ll share a 5-step process that you can follow to improve your English speaking skills.
Before do that, let me give you a quick background of when realised my English speaking skills were really poor and finally decided to fix them.
We shifted to a new place on rent, the suburbs in the southern part of New Delhi. I was almost 14 years old. And a new place meant a set of new people around.
We were mostly surrounded by high status ‘South Delhi families and they all used to communicate with each other in English. It came very naturally to them.
And yes, it does make an impression.
My English speaking skills were very poor. I used to make many grammatical mistakes. Feel under confident and mess everything up.
That’s when I took the decision to improve it.
To do this, you have to first train your mind and then your mouth to speak in English. Here’s the 5 step process you can follow to make this happen:
1. Start Reading English Content
Reading English content will help you get better at English sentence formation. It will help your mind improve grammar, writing and vocabulary.
Reading will train your brain to think, speak and process in English. And you can read about whatever you want. Ideally whatever you have interest in.
It could be a book, a novel or simply news about what you love the most.
I remember started reading HT City. It was the newspaper version of Bollywood news. I was always into movies, film stars and entertainment so loved reading celebrity interviews and articles.
You can pick whatever piece of content you like.
While reading, your mind takes help from your eyes to improve it’s English language processing and understanding.
2. Start Listening to English based content
Listening English content will help you level up your mind’s learning. It will compliment reading in English. In fact, if you can start reading and listening to one piece of content at the same time, it’ll do wonders for you.
One simple and fun way to do this is by watching the kind of content you love. It can be a movie or a TV Series with Sub-titles on.
In here your mind’s going to be taking help from your ears to become great a processing English based content.
3. Start thinking in English.
Now, once your mind gets used to consuming and processing English based content, it’s important for you to train it to create thoughts in English.
The simplest thing to do is you want to start thinking in English. We keep thinking about something or the other. In the back of our minds, some self talk is always going on.
What you want to do, is make a conscious effort to do this self talk in English. You don’t have to say anything or make any sounds. Just talk to yourself, in your mind, in English.
Before you get confident with English speaking with people outside, it’s important you feel the same way with yourself, on the inside.
4. Practice like an athlete
Now as you train your mind to process and create thoughts in the English language. it’s equally important to train your mouth to do this (tongue, jaw and lips).
What we’re looking for is a perfect synchronisation of your mind (thoughts) and your mouth (words).
To do this, you have to start talking to yourself in English and this time you’ll use your mouth and voice. You can do this when you’re alone. I used to do this while taking walks in the park with my earphones on. It used to look as if I was speaking to someone with my earphones on, while in actuality, used to speak to myself.
One cool thing you can also do it call customer care service centres and choose to speak with them in English. Create a list of questions you’ve always had about the branded products around you or the complains you always wanted to make to companies.
Create a list of these things and every other day call these guys, select the English language and speak with the executive in English. This will really help you practice with a person who’s totally unknown and it’s practically free.
5. Start playing in the field
Now once you start feeling that you’re getting better at this and feel comfortable speaking up in English, you should start talking to people in English around you.
Be it in your school, college, client meetings or when you’re travelling in the Metro. Start conversations with people.
You could also use websites like Omegle to find strangers from abroad and talk about your topics of interest.
When you do this, you will struggle in the beginning. Stay aware about the points that make you uncomfortable. Take a note of them and work on them. Improve them.
Understand that speaking in English is a skill. Just like going to the gym or using Microsoft Excel. The more you do it, the better you get. And there’s going to be no end to this.
It will be a life long skill you’ll keep and improve. So have fun with it.
Hope this helps.