Are you hesitant to speak English? Do you dread the thought of using your English abilities in front of people? A moment of relief for you is that in the world of language learning, a fear of speaking English (or any other non-native language) is extremely prevalent. According to research done at the University of Oslo, this anxiety affects 80–85% of learners.
You must overcome your fears and speak the language more frequently if you want to become business-English proficient. Otherwise, you may risk your career potential and your language learning goals without even realizing it.
How then can you get over your aversion to using English? How can you overcome your fear and anxiety so that you can improve your fluency and meet new clients? Or speak confidently when giving presentations or in business meetings?
Speaking a foreign language can be intimidating because you have to step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance at failing in order to get better.
You are taken back to the time when you couldn’t speak fluently, rather than feeling like the capable and self-assured person you usually are. You worry that when you open your mouth to speak, you will look foolish, make silly mistakes, or possibly embarrass yourself.
Speaking English for business comes with even greater risks. What happens if you make a poor impression? If you can’t speak as fluently as you would like, what if you mess up your business presentation and even miss out on a deal?
Because of the anxiousness, self-doubt, and fear this causes, you are more likely to refrain from using English. But the truth is, the majority of native English speakers won’t look down on you if you make a mistake when speaking the language. They might not even catch those small errors because they are more likely to be impressed by the fact that you bothered to learn their language.
How to overcome your fear of speaking English for business
Identify your fears
By looking more closely at what you are actually afraid of, you can conquer your fears. Your fears of speaking English can be faced when you can recognize them, and you can then learn more effective ways to handle them. You could, for instance, use that self-talk to encourage yourself or summon the courage to face your fears.
Do you fear forgetting everything and being embarrassed? Are you worried that your English vocabulary is insufficient? Concerned that you may offend someone?
You can look for English conversations for beginners to overcome some of your fears and to have a kick start!
Practice privately first
Why not begin by sharpening your English speaking skills on your own if you are worried about making mistakes? Before speaking to a native English speaker, you will gain fluency, improve your pronunciation, and build muscle memory. Along the way, your self-assurance will significantly increase.
You can learn several happy expressions and practice them privately. This will boost your confidence to speak English.
Find an informal language exchange
It can be intimidating to speak English in a professional setting, especially if you lack much confidence in your abilities. Because of this, you ought to think about honing your language abilities in a less formal setting before applying them at work.
You can use several language exchange websites in such scenarios. This exercise will also help you develop a language-learning routine.
Take part in the language learning community
What better way to gain peer support and develop your language skills than to join a welcoming online community?
Even if you are confined to your home, they offer you a fantastic opportunity to practice your English, find language exchange partners, and develop your skills.
On Facebook, there are countless communities dedicated to learning English. To find the group that best suits you, simply use the “search” feature. You can also learn English online with italki. Here, you will get the opportunity to have one-on-one speaking practice exercises in English.
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Be an active English learner
By consuming as much English-language content as you can, you can create your own immersion environment. This will improve your listening abilities and assist you in learning a new language rather than just learning it.
As a result, you will be more likely to acquire fluency in English more quickly and find it much simpler and more natural to pick up new vocabulary and grammatical structures in English.
To keep improving your abilities, spend time reading books, blogs, and newspapers in English as well as listening to English podcasts. You can also watch English television shows on Netflix or YouTube.
Make sure to smile, speak slowly, and display a welcoming and open attitude whenever you communicate in English. This will help you relax and improve your fluency while also giving you more time to consider what you want to say.
Additionally, you will make a good first impression that can help resolve any misunderstandings and facilitate the development of business relationships.
Don’t worry about perfection
If you want to develop your business English language abilities, you need to make mistakes. They highlight any areas you need to concentrate on in your English studies, making them one of the best ways to learn.
You can also look for English teachers online to have a discussion on the mistakes that you make. These teachers will help you reflect on your mistakes and refine your English speaking and writing skills.
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Maintain your calm
Stress causes hormones to overflow your body, preparing you for flight or fight, and blood flows from your brain to your muscles. You won’t be able to think clearly as a result, and you will be more prone to forgetting the English you already know.
Unfortunately, some people experience anxiety in business settings, which is why it’s crucial to learn coping mechanisms so you can speak English more fluently.
Look for tried-and-true techniques that can help you maintain your composure, such as deep breathing, counting to ten, using a positive self-talk approach, and challenging negative thoughts.
Keep talking no matter what
Practice speaking as much as you can so that you can become less anxious when it comes time to actually use the language and become desensitized to your fear of speaking English for business.
Your brain will realize that speaking in English for business isn’t as terrifying as you thought after you expose yourself to your fear in this way, even if you do make a few mistakes. Additionally, you will gain a lot of experience, increase your confidence, and sharpen your English.
Frequently asked questions about learning English
Q. Is there a difference between American and British English?
A. There are many differences between British and American English, in pronunciation, spelling, grammar, and even the actual meaning of some words. In fact, English is the first language in many countries and there are differences between them all, these include; Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, and the USA.
Q. Which is better American English or British English?
A. It depends on which English you will be most exposed to. If you are moving to the US then learn American English, if you are going to work for a British company then learn British English.
Q. Is learning English difficult?
A. No. English is actually an easy language to begin learning because: It has no genders. Apart from people, all objects are ‘neuter’, not ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. So you say ‘it’ for such things, and do not need to learn any genders for objects. It usually has easy verb endings. Apart from a few ‘irregular’ verbs, verb endings are easy and hardly change. Adjectives remain the same for all words.
You need to overcome your fear of speaking English in public. No one is perfect and as far as you are trying, you are on your way to fluency. Keep calm and keep practicing and that is how you will develop your command of English.