Indian Marketing Executive Case Study

An Indian marketing executive from a start-up company recently came to us because she was giving lots of webinars and her audience just wasn’t responding well. Her company suggested she go through a American pronunciation [accent reduction] course with us.

The problem was that she spoke too fast, never paused between words and was generally not understandable although she had deep knowledge in her field. And unfortunately, although she had, of course, spoken English her entire life, Americans in the workplace couldn’t understand her, although they tried.

Of course the first thing we did was to have her give a presentation while we taped her. She became much more conscious of her speech patterns once she saw and heard herself and together we then analyzed how she sounded – word for word. We made a list of the words she often used in her webinars and laid them out phonetically for her to practice during work hours – and especially on the phone where no one could see her if she made “funny” movements with her mouth.
She kept a sign next to her office phone that said” slow down” and she made sure to pause frequently and enunciate her words more carefully when she was speaking. Normally I don’t advocate slowing down because most people tend to speak up when they are nervous, but in her case, she had to because no one could understand her rapid fire sentences.

After several months of working with me on her accent, on the way she wrote and gave presentations and after she really developed much better communication skills, she was able to give webinars and – success!,  the audience understood and liked her. This boosted her self- confidence and she was actually promoted to the next level, something she wasn’t even looking for at that time.

We are still working together, therefore it’s too early to talk about permanent results;  however, she sounds much better and more understandable when she makes a real effort to talk clearly and slowly. She’s also been practicing to say all the consonants at the beginning, middle and end of words. We’re scheduled to work together for another couple of months, and we’ll reassess her progress then.

If you have problems being understood because of your different accent, email me and we will do an assessment of your English skills.  Contact me now and we can discuss it

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