10 tips to reduce your accent and improve your American English

1. Realize and accept that people sometimes have trouble understanding you.

2. Ask your American friends or colleagues to tell you which of the words you are saying are hard to understand.

3. Slow down when you speak – you might think that you sound too slow and stupid, you don’t. Only you will notice the difference in speed, the others will notice that they understand you better. You can speed up again to your normal rate when you’ve mastered the sounds!

4. Speak your consonants at the beginning of the words, in the middle and at the end, it makes a big difference. Consonants are letters like p/s/k/r/m/n/ etc.

5. Don’t use slang as much as the people around you — slang tends to be slurred and spoken fast, you want to avoid that because people won’t understand you.

6. Practice ahead of time what you’re going to say on the phone or to customers until you’re good at it. Then you can concentrate on how you say it instead.

7. Keep up the work until your speech changes become habits; this will take quite a long time, have patience.

8. Videotape yourself, once before you start working on your speech and work on getting a better American accent and then 2 months later– you’ll see a difference, if you did the work.

9. Record yourself on your iphone when you’re speaking on the phone at work. Listen to how you sound and make adjustments to your way of speaking. Exaggerate speaking s-l-o-w-l-y and distinctly, no one can see you and you’ll be surprised at how much better you sound to the other person.

10. Relax! These things take time. Look around you. Most people around you have accents and they probably don’t bother you much when you listen to them. The only time that accents are a hindrance is if you’re saying something and it’s obvious you’re not being understood.

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