Everybody is a salesperson – even if you’re not aware of it.
If you’re looking for a new job, you’re going to attend quite a few job interviews trying to do your best to sell your skill set and experience.
When you’re meeting a potential partner you’re automatically putting on a performance to show yourself off – you’re essentially selling yourself just like any professional marketer would sell a product or a service. By concealing the downsides and emphasizing the advantages you’re increasing your chances of having the edge over your rivals, right?
Same goes with nearly every other aspect of your life whenever you’re doing something that may possibly work to your benefit.
When you’re cooking for your family – you’re selling your cooking skills.
When you’re being professional and nice to a customer on the phone – you’re selling your customer service skills in order to remain in high estimation among the management of your company and earn promotion in the future.
But here’s the thing – and every good marketer is going to confirm this – it’s very important HOW you sell it; you will outdo your competition 9 times out of 10 even if what you sell isn’t as good as your competitor’s!
You may not be a professional cook, yet if you’ve served the food nicely and used enough spices, it may be just as tasty as what your partner cooks.
“OK, I get it Robbie, but what it’s got to do with the English language? Your blog is about dealing with spoken English issues but you keep ranting about sales and marketing related stuff!”
Fair enough, I understand your impatience; however, I didn’t come up with these sales and marketing related examples out of thin air. There is a very direct connection between being a good marketer and a foreign English speaker. Namely, you have to SELL YOURSELF as an English speaker ❗
Use Body Language To Project A Confident Image
All else being equal, you’ll come across as a more entertaining and eloquent English speaker if you use plenty of gestures to emphasize the main points of your speech. You can use your hands to help you to explain nearly everything – starting from technical things like describing how a particular machine works and ending with helping your conversation partner to understand abstract concepts.
Many of you would be naturally good communicators and using body language would be a second nature to you. Some of you, on the other hand, would be slightly more introvert by nature and that might show even more when you communicate with English speakers. You know – there’s always a chance you’ll make an odd mistake, or hesitate, or won’t be able to put your thoughts into the right words and that in turn may make you freeze up and get stuck in the middle of your speech.
If it ever happens to you – try to use your hand gestures to send a message to your conversation partner that you’re not confused and left in a state of flux. And on top of using your hands, use simple hesitation filler phrases such as “What do you call it…”, “You see…”, “You know…” to indicate that whatever words you’re looking for have just slipped your mind and that it’s got nothing to do with you being unable to speak proper English.
Hand gestures isn’t the end of it all, of course – you should engage your facial features as well as the whole body to give away an image of a confident person. Smile even if you feel grumpy and keep your hands in the region of your chest or belly ready to gesticulate to create an impression of being active and involved.
Don’t stand with your arms folded or clasped behind your back as this will make you look arrogant or unsure of yourself. Remember – people will perceive what you have to say depending on how they see you ❗ If you come across as a friendly and easy-going person, the communication is also going to be more effective and your conversation partner is going to be more open!
Use Smart English Phrases To Impress
Your Conversation Partners
You don’t need to be academically educated in English philology to come across as a very fluent English speaker. Quite often the trick is to say the right thing at the right time, and that’s when knowing a handful of phrases may be even more useful than a large vocabulary of sophisticated, very formal English words.
Phrases like “it puts things in perspective”, “at the end of the day”, “regardless of what happens” and similar can be used in so many different situations that each of them is worth much more than just the words contained within it.
For instance, you can use the phrase “Yes, it really puts things in perspective” whenever somebody tells you a shocking story about some sort of a natural disaster having happened somewhere on the planet. That one phrase says so much – it proves that you understood what was being told to you, it shows you’re a compassionate person, and it also confirms you’re a person worthy discussing interesting topics with.
I’m not saying you can become a fluent English speaker by learning a handful of English phrases, speaking fluent English entails an awful lot more than that!
Nevertheless, if you use smart English phrases in conversations to help you make your point and make it easier to get the message across, your estimation in the eyes of others will definitely go up and you’ll be selling yourself as a foreign English speaker properly!
Stress Your Strengths And Conceal Your Weaknesses
Just Like In A Job Interview!
The above statement is true in every aspect of life including successful communication with other English speakers – both foreign and native. A lot of times success of the outcome of your conversation with another English speaker will depend on how well you conducted the conversation and also how confident you were as a person.
So if you have any weaknesses – such as making certain mistakes when speaking English – try not to make them and also think of ways to eliminate them.
Let’s say, you’re aware that you have a tendency to speak very fast and mispronouncing words is a frequent occurrence when you’re involved in a conversation – especially with strangers. Now, you should make a conscious effort to slow your speech down every time you feel a bit agitated and also make sure you pronounce words clearly by controlling your mouth movements and don’t get carried away by desire to sound like a native speaker and speak super fast.
If you know that you’re prone to making certain grammar mistakes – use shorter sentences. Why bother with trying to create super long grammar constructs and possibly get stuck while trying to do so if you can say it simpler and sound just as fluent?
Maybe your strength on a particular occasion is having valuable information that your conversation partner would want to hear and you can use it to raise your stocks – so make it your priority instead of trying to be a 100% perfect with your English grammar constructs. And believe me – if the person you’re chatting with is really into it, they won’t even notice many of your mistakes so that’s not really at issue at that given moment!
You see – the problem quite often is that foreign English speakers try PROVING the opposite instead of using their strengths and concealing their weaknesses.
They kind of think – “this time I’m really going to impress him with how fast I can speak, and I know I can do it!” And then they start mispronouncing words and getting stuck for words, and communication might not be as successful as it would have been if they played their cards right!
OK, it’s about time to wrap it up and I hope you gained some valuable insights into how to sell yourself properly when speaking English. Force yourself to be polite and smile even if you don’t feel like it, loosen up your body and use gestures to make your verbal presentation more visual, and also don’t fall for the same mistakes you’ve been making all along!
P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!