Going Up?

You may need an objective perspective.

Upward Spiral

There are many more aspects to communication than just the spoken language, but a side effect of improving speech production is an increase in awareness of all the other parts of the process. Together, these create a self-rewarding path towards improvement.

1) When you improve speaking, you improve listening and interpreting someone’s meaning in order to give a good response. 

2) The better conversations you have, the more confident you become that you can do it again and may seek out more speaking opportunities or don’t try to avoid the ones that are already in your life. 

3) The more you speak and apply the new skills you’ve gained, the better you become - creating an upward spiral.

Downward Spiral

The opposite is also possible, you can create a self-defeating path towards weakening. This causes people to feel stuck with their speaking skills and they may avoid looking for ways to keep learning and making changes. 

1) When you stop improving your speaking skills, you are also limiting your ability to listen and interpret the meaning in order to give a good response. 

2) The more of an effort it is to have conversations, the more you avoid them. You may avoid extra speaking opportunities or try to avoid the essential ones that are already in your life. 

3) The less you speak and try to use and improve your skills, the worse you become - creating a downward spiral. 

Objectivity

The downward spiral is where people feel stuck and don’t know where to begin to make changes. They may be holding on to old perceptions of how they sounded years ago when they were new to speaking English. It’s difficult for anyone to have an objective opinion of how they sound, even in a native language. This is where the objective ear of a speech coach can help identify what you’re doing well and what needs improvement.

A speech evaluation clarifies each speech feature and creates a plan of where to begin in order to move away from the downward spiral and towards the upward spiral. Because the upward spiral is about self-awareness and self-analysis, it is self-motivating and this is where people are able to continue on their own. 

My goal for everyone I work with is to teach them to do what I do, hear what I hear, analyze what I analyze until they can do this themselves and don’t need me anymore. It’s an odd thing to have a goal of making myself obsolete, but it’s very rewarding to see people gain options in their lives by gaining control of how they choose to speak.