This is actually a good content marketing lesson, which I'll explain as you read on. But first, some background. This video is from my presentations site and it was made in response to a question I got on YouTube. The question was about sounding more natural when speaking English, and sounding like a native English speaker. Many English language learners feel that they have to sound like a native speaker... thats a good goal, but it isn't always necessary to sound native when speaking English. Anyway, check out the video to see what I mean. Content marketing lesson from this
This video is also an example of how you can engage your audience and build greater trust with them. Did I have to respond to the question by making a video? No, of course not. But I feel that when someone takes the time to not only watch, but to reach out and ask a question related to a challenge they are having, they're likely to be pretty happy to get a video just for them.
Personally, I tend to get a poor impression of people who don't respond to relevant questions or comments so I do my best to reply to people that contact me. It's also a great way to be congruent with the persona/image one has in the mind's on your audience.
Anyway, here's the video and below that is a text version of what I talked about in the video.
What the real issue is
Whenever somebody asks this question, it's usually because you really care about your English presentation performance. You probably understand how important it is to give a good presentation in English. And you probably think that what is holding you back from giving a good presentation is your English speaking ability. But in my experience, the real issue is not so much your English ability, as it is the fact that you are presenting in English by memorizing a script.
Why that is a problem
Well, the problem with that is that your script was probably not written in a natural native English-speaking kind of way. It was likely written to be more, or as much as possible, grammatically correct and with the best vocabulary you could think of.
So memorizing it becomes an issue
When you memorize a presentation script that was not written in a natural way, there is no way you can deliver the presentation and sound natural. Not even a great actor could do that.
If your audience is made up of non-native English speakers, then they likely won't care that you don't sound like a native English speaker. It would be impressive, though, and there are some ways to help you.
Here are 3 things you can do to sound more like a native English speaker...
1. Use simple vocabulary that a 10-year-old child can understand
Be sure to avoid complicated, overly technical or very advanced words and sentence structure.
The reason is because to sound more natural, you must use more common and natural sounding vocabulary and sentences.
2. Go to Hemingwayapp.com
Use it to check your presentation script for clarity, sentence structure and vocabulary usage.
This is a great app because it clearly points out how readable your writing is, which in turn, determines how natural sounding your presentation script will be.
3. Give yourself enough time to prepare
You need time to write your script and edit it to sound more natural.
Preparing for a presentation at the last minute or with little time to go over your script, is a recipe for a poor sounding presentation.
To wrap up
Remember that the most important thing is working from a good script. You should try to avoid sounding too academic. Instead, aim for being understood by your audience, as that is far more important.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Good luck and thanks again to Ton Rod!