3 tricks to reduce your fear of speaking English in business

Veröffentlicht am 1. März 2024 um 10:03
3 tricks to reduce your fear of speaking English in business

Years ago, I used to be afraid of speaking English.

I was an international banker in Dublin, but I was terrified whenever I had to speak because it could be genuinely embarrassing.

The first few months abroad were hard for me because I‘d rather not speak than make a mistake. 

I was afraid that people would laugh at me and tease me because of my English. It prevented me from making some progress and gaining confidence in my English skills.

 But at some point, I got a grip because I didn‘t have a choice when I wanted to stay for a little longer in Dublin.

I know you are probably not abroad and might not need to speak English in business every day.

But wherever you are, there are some things you can do to overcome your fear of speaking business English.



1. Find topics you're interested in speaking about.


Brainstorm topics you are interested in and make an inventory. Keep it in your notebook.

Think of hobbies, interests, something you do every day, a topic discussed in the media, etc.

Topics could be: football, dancing, going to the theater, gardening, playing online games, travelling, cooking, current affairs, etc.


Practice by writing a little dialogue first and then rehearse it as often as possible on your own, and pay attention to your progress after a while.


2. Record yourself speaking English.


Yep, this might sound terrifying, but it does help.

You could use Zoom and record a video. With the recording function here, you also automatically get an audio. Then you can choose your preferred tool.

Speak as long as possible about one of your favourite topics.

If you run out of favourite topics, you could keep a kind of ‘daily journal’ and speak about your job and the tasks you need to do every day.

You could also record yourself discussing something you need to speak in English in your career. Stick to the same topic initially and improve your speech until you are satisfied with it. Then, you can continue with the next topic.

And don’t forget to listen to the recording. In the beginning, you could try to speak for 2 minutes. This might not sound long, but once you try, you might find 2 minutes feels like a long time. It is also okay when the recording is a little shorter. The important thing is to get used to speaking daily in English. 

Are there any mistakes you notice?

You can record yourself again and then improve the recording.

Repeat this process as often as possible.

Make recording a daily habit for one month, and you should seek progress in your speaking skills.


3. Practice speaking English


Now that you’ve tried speaking independently find someone to talk with.

Practice speaking English with a friend or partner. It could be your wife or husband, a colleague, or a friend with a specific command of English. If you need any further suggestions here, please contact me. 

Talk a little every day: try to get daily practice, but only some of your language partners can do this - so what can you do if not? See if you can read one day, prepare another day, meet up to chat on a different day, etc.

So what should you talk about? You could talk about your daily life and routines.

You may like reading some newspapers or magazines in English. You could check Spotlight, Business Spotlight, the Guardian, the Independent, BBC online, etc. for exciting articles.

Interesting small talk topics could be: 


💭 Your family 

💭 What does your daily life look like? (your daily routines)

💭What do you do when you get home after work?

💭 What are your favourite free time activities?

💭 Do you do some voluntary work?

💭 Your working day: What is your favourite task at work? - Describe it.

💭 What is your favourite book?

💭 What does your perfect day look like? Etc. 


This informal way of speaking is essential to lose your fear of speaking in English. Because it is a relaxed way of telling where you can feel confident. You also get into the flow of speaking and need to remember that you are speaking in English at some point. 

When you are in a business situation, it seems less threatening because your brain remembers your previous success when speaking in a relaxed and calm atmosphere.


Another aspect that might cause you some trouble when speaking English is speaking quickly. In my blog ‘Why your fluency in business English sucks and what to do about it‘, you find some ideas on how to deal with it.


4. Takeaways


Following these 3 tricks to reduce your fear of speaking English in business will help you gain more confidence in your business conversation.

Brainstorm topics you would enjoy speaking about. Indeed, there are topics you are interested in. Often, when my clients feel stuck starting conversations in English, a little advanced practice or preparation on a given subject can make all the difference. 

You can prepare for your following conversation by recording yourself with the recording function on your mobile or with a videoconferencing platform like Zoom.

Another option is to speak with a partner, friend or colleague.

Finally, practice speaking as often as possible. It is essential to make a habit out of it. Even 10 minutes a day of practice can lead to progress.

Then, you are on the right path to reducing your fear of speaking English in business.


How are you feeling about speaking English now?


Do you want more tips on how you can become a better Business English communicator with less stress? Sign up for my newsletter.

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