New Book & Anxiety Management for Non-native Speakers
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New Book & Anxiety Management for Non-native Speakers

I am very excited to announce that my book is now translated into Chinese!  Please click here to see this version of my book.

My book was translated because many non-native English speakers’ struggle with public speaking anxiety.  Please see my post below that suggests ways for non-native English speaker’s to manage their speaking anxiety.

Anxiety Management for Non-native Speakers

Having to speak in public can produce enough anxiety, but if you are not a native speaker, you might find that speaking in front of others is a truly frightening experience. The anxiety management techniques presented in this book are equally valuable to non-native speakers. However, two suggestions might help relieve the added anxiety brought on by speaking in a different language. First, it helps to understand the audience’s expectations of native English speakers. Second, if you are concerned about having a heavy accent, there are a few things that you can do.

Audience members also expect good communicators to do certain things. These expectations are different in different cultures. For example, competent English speakers from the United States (and Canada) make eye contact, they gesture frequently, and they move around the room. A person who is relatively new to the language, and perhaps to the culture, needs to understand what the audience is expecting from his or her delivery. In other words, you must try to determine the cultural expectations of your audience. To do this, you can (1) ask trusted peers, (2) observe competent speakers, and/or (3) try out what you think is appropriate and see how people respond. Regardless of how you determine the expectations that your audience might have, you need to conform to these expectations.

Many non-native speakers have accents. The added worry about whether the audience will be able to understand what is being said weighs heavily on non-native speakers. This added anxiety often leads speakers who have accents to speak very quickly. This almost ensures that the audience will not understand them.

Practicing your pronunciation and finding a program for accent reduction are two options, but an easier technique exists. Audience members are more likely to accept an accented speaker if the speaker simply begins his or her presentation more slowly. Choose an introductory sentence or two that are not vitally important to your presentation and speak more slowly than you usually do. This slower speech rate allows your audience to adapt and adjust to your accent.

Being a non-native speaker adds some extra hurdles to managing your speaking anxiety, but with dedicated practice and extra attention, you can reap the rewards of lessened nervousness.


October 22, 2019