Dec 16, 2017

5 Ways to Improve Speaking on the Fly

Sometimes, having the confidence to speak out is the hardest part.

I am both a coach and a learner at Lingo Live and I assume a very different mindset for both of those roles. As a coach I am calm and understanding. As a learner, I can be insecure and self-judgemental. Here are some examples of what I’m thinking when I’m a coach versus when I’m a learner.

 

1.) First Day of Class

Coach Tracey – I’m super excited to meet my new learner.

Learner Tracey – I didn’t practice enough before this. How can I communicate my inability to communicate if I can’t communicate that to my coach?

 

2.) Correcting Grammar

Coach Tracey – We all make mistakes. I’m just impressed that my learner was brave enough to try a new grammar pattern. You’ll never learn if you don’t speak up!

Learner Tracey – I messed up! I don’t sound like a native speaker. I’m dooooooooomed!

 

3.) When Taking a Long Pause to form a Sentence

Coach Tracey – Take your time. You can do it!

Learner Tracey – omg omg omg. This is taking way too long! Shouldn’t I be thinking about the sentence? Focus on the sentence, Tracey!

 

4.) When Asking to Repeat the Question

Coach Tracey – Ask as many times as you need. This is your time and it’s a great opportunity to get comfortable with the pacing and structure of the question.

Learner Tracey – You can’t ask her a third time! Just smile and nod.

 

5.) On Progress

Coach Tracey – As long as you keep trying, you’ll see progress .

Learner Tracey – Just relax! Deep breath. As long as I keep trying, I’ll see progress.

 

Sometimes, having the confidence to speak out is the hardest part. That’s why I created the Speaking on the Fly course for our Learner Summit. (You can watch it on-demand here.) The goal for learners is to speak without over-thinking or self-criticizing. Over time, things will feel more comfortable, even if you’re a big ball of nerves like Learner Tracey.

The point is, I understand some of the struggles a learner may go through. I’ve been there. I’m there now! But, your coach is rooting for you. And, if you keep putting in the effort, you will see a payoff.

 

-Tracey Gordon, Lingo Live Coach and Learner

Interested in learning more about how to develop your soft skills? Check out Are You Asking the Right Questions? and How to Run Effective Meetings.