How To Speak English Confidently (6 Tips To Improve Your Fluency)

Lesson summary

Have you been speaking English for many years but still can't speak English confidently? In this English lesson you will learn why that is and how to improve your confidence when speaking English.

Video transcript

Have you been learning English for many years but you still feel like you can’t speak English confidently? If you answered ‘yes’ to this question, then this video is for you.

 

This is a very common problem that many English learners have. Why is that? Why is it that students, they spend hours and hours and hours studying English but they can’t speak English confidently?

 

Well, in today’s video I tell you why that is and I tell you six things that you should be doing to improve your confidence when speaking English.

 

Are you ready? Let’s go!

 

Tip #1 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Are you learning English just to pass an exam? Just to pass IELTS?

 

Well this may be one of the biggest reasons why you have no confidence when speaking English.

 

Many students learn English just to pass exams. Just to pass IELTS.

 

But they don’t learn English to communicate with native speakers, to sound like a native speaker or to use English like a native speaker.

 

And this is a big problem because just because a student can pass an exam, that doesn’t mean that the student can confidently communicate in English with native speakers.

 

Now, there are two parts of communication. The first part is speaking and the second part is listening.

 

Just because a student can pass an exam, does that mean native speakers easily understand what the student is saying to them?

 

Does that mean the student easily understands what native speakers are saying to the student?

 

Now, I understand that in life sometimes we need to pass exams so we should study for them, right? And that’s okay. That’s good. I think education is very important.

 

But if you study English just to pass an exam, just to pass IELTS, you probably won’t be able to communicate confidently in English.

 

Why? Because writing something onto a piece of paper is very different than actually talking to a native speaker, listening to what they have to say and then responding to the native speaker so that the native speaker understands you.

 

So instead of studying English just to pass an exam, why don’t you do both?

 

Why don’t study English to pass your exam and to communicate with native speakers?

 

Why don’t you study English to make a phone call in English? To tell a story in English? To get information in English? To open a bank account in English? To check in at a hotel in English?

 

If you start learning English to really communicate with native speakers, to exchange ideas, to exchange meanings, this is when your confidence in speaking English will really improve.

 

So I will ask you again. Are you learning English just to pass an exam? If you are, you may need to change that.

 

Tip #2 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Can you make the sounds of English like a native English speaker? Do you understand English grammar? Do you understand basic vocabulary in English?

 

Many students try to speak English and they don’t understand the basics of English.

 

How can you speak English if you can’t make the sounds of English? How can you speak English if you’re using your own language’s sounds to speak English?

 

How can you understand what a native speaker is saying to you if you don’t understand grammar? Or if you don’t understand basic vocabulary?

 

Not knowing how to correctly and easily pronounce the sounds in English may be a very big reason why you can’t speak English confidently.

 

Why? Because when you’re speaking to native speakers, you’ll always be thinking ‘Am I saying it correctly?’ Will they understand me?

 

Not understanding basic words and grammar in English may also cause you to be not confident when speaking English.

 

Why? Because when you’re communicating with native speakers, you may be scared or worried that you won’t understand what they are saying to you.

 

Imagine this. You can make the sounds of English like a native speaker. You can understand everything you hear in English.

 

Would you feel confident in English? Would you feel confident using English to communicate with native speakers?

 

Learn the basics. This is one of the most important things you can do if you want to speak English confidently.

 

Tip #3 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Are you practising to improve your confidence in English? And when I say practising, I mean really practising.

 

If you just read or a book or learn a new word or learn a new phrase, this is not practising to improve your confidence when speaking English. You have to be honest with yourself.

 

How do we get confident in something? We have to do the thing that we want to be confident in.

 

For example, you have been speaking your language for many years. That’s why you are confident in it. So if you practise speaking English a lot, your confidence when speaking English will improve.

 

Now, there are two ways you can improve your confidence in English by actually speaking. This first way is by practising by yourself.

 

What you can do is record yourself speaking English. Use your phone, use your iPad, your computer, your microphone to record yourself speaking English.

 

After you have finished speaking, listen to yourself and see how you sound. Compare yourself to native speakers. Do you sound like a native speaker? What are the three things that make you sound not like a native speaker?

 

And after you learn those three things, then you can fix them. You can improve them.

 

The more you do this and the better you become at speaking, the more confident you will get in speaking English to native speakers.

 

The second way is by speaking to people. Speak to native speakers. Speak to non-native speakers. Use English in every opportunity that you can. Use English wherever you can. Use English in any situation that you can.

 

Like I said before, the more you practise speaking English, the more confident you will be in speaking English.

 

Now, I’ll give you an example. When I first started taking videos and talking to a camera, I felt nervous. I felt weird. I felt awkward.

 

But now I have been practising for many many months. So now, speaking to a camera, it feels easy for me. It feels natural. It doesn’t feel difficult anymore.

 

So I will ask you again. Are you really practising to improve your confidence in English by actually speaking? If you answered ‘no’ to this question, then maybe you should change that.

 

Tip #4 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Are you afraid of making mistakes when speaking English?

 

This is another thing that causes English learners to not be confident when speaking English. They are afraid of making mistakes. They are afraid of saying something that is wrong.

 

Making mistakes is one of the best things you can do as a language learner.

 

Why? Because you can learn from your mistakes and get better.

 

And that’s why you’re learning English, right? To get better, to improve your English.

 

If you change your attitude to not be worried about making mistakes in English, this will improve your confidence when speaking English because you won’t be worrying about saying something wrong or something that’s incorrect.

 

If you’re not worried about making mistakes when speaking English, this will improve your confidence and make you want to use the language more so you can make mistakes and learn more and get better with your English.

 

So I will ask you again. Are you afraid of making mistakes when speaking English? If you are, then maybe you should change that.

 

Tip #5 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Are you putting yourself into uncomfortable situations every week where you have to speak English?

 

This means are you doing things in English that make you feel not confident? That make you feel like you’re not sure what to do or what to say?

 

This is one of the best things you can do if you want to improve your confidence when speaking English.

 

Why? Because if you’re just doing the same thing every day, every week, and you’re not learning new things and you’re not putting yourself into new situations, you may stagnate.

 

Stagnate means to stay the same, to not get better, to not improve.

 

And you don’t want that. When you’re learning English you want to be getting better all the time. You want to be getting more confident, learning new words, learning new phrases.

 

And one of the best ways to do that is to put yourself into situations that make you feel uncomfortable.

 

Why do you feel uncomfortable in these situations? Because you don’t know what to say. You don’t know what will happen. You don’t know what to do.

 

If you knew what would happen, if you knew what to say, you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable in this situation, right?

 

For example, if you make a phone call in your language, you probably feel very confident, right? Why? Because you’ve been using your language for 20, 30, 40 years. However old you are.

 

You know what to say. You know what to do because you’ve done it before.

 

Now, the only way to make yourself feel confident in those situations is to go into those situations and learn from them.

 

Nothing bad will happen. Only good things can happen if you go into those situations. You will learn something new. You will see how native speakers use English in that situation. And then you can copy them.

 

Learning all these new things will improve your confidence when speaking English.

 

So I will ask you again. Are you putting yourself into uncomfortable situations every week where you have to use English? If the answer is no, then maybe you should change that.

 

Tip #6 to improve confidence in English and fluency

Are you writing down your fears about speaking English and the worst possible things that could happen if your fears came true?

 

This is one of the best things you can do to improve your confidence when speaking English.

 

Why? Because one of the reasons you may not feel confident in using English is because you’re a bit scared or worried or nervous to use English with native speakers, right? And that’s okay. That’s normal.

 

But what you can do right now to help to fix that is to write down your fears about speaking English.

 

For example, maybe you think that if you speak English someone may not understand what you’re saying. Or you may worry that you may forget a word when you’re speaking to a native speaker.

 

After you’ve written down your fears, then I want you to write down, next to your fears, what is the worst possible thing that could happen if your fears came true?

 

For example, if you say something in English and a native speaker doesn’t understand you, what is the worst thing that could happen? Maybe he will say ‘What did you say?’ Maybe he will look at you funny.

 

But is that really that bad if someone looks at you funny? Or if they say ‘What did you say?’

 

If you do this with all of your fears, you will see that nothing bad can happen.

 

Yes, you may make a mistake when speaking English but like we talked about before, making mistakes is a good thing because you can learn from it.

 

And another thing. If you make a mistake in English, it doesn’t matter. Everyone makes mistakes in this life.

 

And if you make a mistake, it won’t matter in a minute, in an hour, in a day. The person you’re speaking to probably will never think about the mistake you made. He is too busy thinking about his own life.

 

Fear is all in the mind so please don’t worry when you’re speaking English. Nothing bad can happen.

 

So I will ask you again. Are you writing down your fears about speaking English and then writing the worst possible thing that could happen if those fears came true? If you’re not, maybe you should.

 

Conclusion

Alright, that is the end of the video today. Comment down below and let us know: What are your biggest tips for improving your confidence when speaking English?

 

Make you subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss any video that we put out, just like this one that can help you improve your English.

 

For more English, go to our website at englishunderstood.com where we have English lessons and eBooks.

 

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