Essay from Shaxinabonu Fatulloyeva

Some useful strategies for improving speaking skills

Speaking is a part of the important skills in learning English.
Speaking is an activity to express oneself in a situation or to express a sequence of ideas among people in a community by using verbal and non-verbal symbols in a particular language, situation, and context.

Remember that if your goal is improving speaking skills, it is a good idea to read aloud. This will not only help you practise unfamiliar words, but also help you improve your pronunciation and fluency.
To turn into a better communicator, you need to spend time. You will not notice changes overnight, but if you keep working step by step, you will develop significant skills. Like Dave Brailsford dominated world cycling by using the marginal gains technique, you should approach your progress as a daily improvement.

Here are some tips which help you improve your English speaking skills.

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle to speak fluent English without hesitation is because they feel conscious of their words. If your native language isn’t English, you prefer speaking as little as possible to avoid any mistakes. You worry about others judging you and as a result, you keep your lips sealed.

Unfortunately, you will have a hard time improving your English speaking skills unless you try. Without attempting to speak, you cannot improve your communication.

Expecting to improve your speech by speaking as little as possible is like trying to learn swimming without stepping into the water. You have to get wet to learn and water will seep into your nostrils when you are learning. People might turn around to look but do not let that bother you much.

I had the same insecurity when I had trouble speaking in a flow. I used to try to wrap up my sentences in quick bursts. But little by little, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

During the process, I framed some terrible sentences and used the most stupid words for the context, but I got better. I am not an amazing conversationalist even today, but when I look back at how hesitant I was many years back, I feel happy to know how far I have come.

If you do not want to talk because you fear making mistakes, read no further because the rest of the tips will be of no use.

And additionally;

2. Embrace pauses

The biggest fear of a person with weak communication skills is a pause. The sound of silence between a sentence makes them feel like they are under the gun of judgment.

The truth is, pauses add more value to your speech when you use them right. All good speakers use pauses for the best effect. If you need an extra moment to gather your words, just pause, even if you are in between a sentence. Sometimes you might pause at awkward points but you will realize the difference between the good and bad pauses yourself.

A little silence works better than an incorrect usage of words. Also, a pause makes you appear more thoughtful. Do not fear pauses, embrace them.

The most common flaw in conversations is the overuse of filler words like “errr, like, umm, you know”. When you gather your thoughts to grab the right words, you feel the necessity to fill in the silence with a sound or words.

You do not have to.

As mentioned in the previous tip, pause instead of using a filler word. Now, it is easier said than done because your subconscious mind prompts you to use those words without your knowledge.

But if you pay enough attention to your words, you will notice your mistake as soon as you do it. You may not detect it quick enough to stop using the filler word, but you do have a moment where you feel, “damn, I used ‘like’ again.”

When you keep telling yourself you made the mistake, the message feeds into your subconscious. So mentally tell your brain that you messed up and your mind will learn to correct itself. Again, do not expect results overnight, but if you do this many times in a day, you will notice a significant cutback in your usage of filler words in a month.

I used tons of filler words. Like, err, umm, you know. You name it and I have had that habit of using it. Telling myself I made a mistake was one of the most powerful techniques which helped me get over them. Today I feel so comfortable using a pause instead of a filler word and so does the listener.