How to Give the PERFECT Presentation in English
If I had to name The KEY to your success in giving a presentation, it would be PREPARATION and PRACTICE. If you think about it, it’s not really a rocket science – you have to prepare slides for the presentation and that’s half of the job already done! Yes, it’s the actual slides that make up the main part of the presentation and in theory you could give a decent presentation just by switching between the slides and describing what you see in them! Therefore it would seem to follow that all you have to do to ensure successful performance during a presentation is to prepare the slideshow in a way that enables you to more or less read all the information off the screen, right? Well, slide preparation is obviously crucial in order to give a presentation, there’s no doubt about that! I mean – preparing the slides and presenting all the information to the audience is what makes the presentation a presentation. For those unaware - if you’re just standing in front of people talking about a specific subject, it’s called a SPEECH. Adding some visual clues to your speech makes it a PRESENTATION – at least in my opinion. In reality, to engage the audience and make the presentation flow nicely, reading information off the slides just doesn’t cut it: You have to know how to address the audience. You have to use the best means of expression to comment on the slides. And you also have to use the proper English phrases to stress the main points and draw conclusions during the presentation! That’s exactly where English presentation phrases step in, so without further ado let me give you the very cream of the crop! (more…)
Look Among Young Adults Fiction for Easy-to-read Books!
Not so long ago I was totally hooked onto dystopian fiction and I thought that I would never read anything else other than dystopian fiction such as GONE series, for example. This Holiday Season, however, I proved myself wrong because I got hooked onto something different – namely, vampire fiction! I thought that vampires aren’t my cup of tea, so to speak, and I was looking at my daughter reading vampire books as something that only teenage girls would do. How wrong was I! ;-) The moment I picked up a booked called THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa (it’s all part of the Blood of Eden novels), I just couldn’t put it down! It got me hooked completely, and I often found myself reading late into night… Well, I actually should have known better than to dismiss vampire books because not so long ago I started reading books about angels, and the whole vampire concept is not so dissimilar from angels after all. One way or another, it’s all YOUNG ADULTS FICTION, and that’s the common denominator of all English fiction I’ve been reading for the last few years :!: (more…)
My Own Struggling With English Fluency is What Drives Me!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Here's the thing my friends - I've been struggling with my English fluency for the last couple of days and what I wanted to tell you is despite the fact that is happens I don't regret it. I don't really wish to have been a completely fluent English speaker at all times. And guess why? It's quite simple. If I didn't have these fluency issues I wouldn't have created the blog EnglishHarmony.com in the first place, right? So I wouldn't be able to help you guys! I wouldn't be in a position to create all these blog articles and videos and whatnot and helping thousands and millions probably of other foreign English speakers worldwide. So basically if not for my fluency issues, none of this would have happened! (more…)
3 Big Reasons Why the English Language is More Relevant Than Ever!
How to Deal With Situations When You Don’t Understand the Other English Speaker At All!
About a week ago I asked you to share your stories about embarrassing English conversations on this blog post. I got a good few comments sharing various experiences, and one of those stories was submitted by a Finnish fella Juhapekka where he shares his experience of having a conversation with a South African chap whose accent, slang and fast speech was indistinguishable. So the basic issue faced by Juhapekka was dealing with situations when you just can’t understand what your English speaking conversation partner is talking about, and I recorded this video to address this particular issue! ;-) If you’ve also had similar experiences in the past and it keeps happening to you every now and then that you don’t understand a particular person and you feel very embarrassed about the whole experience – please watch the video above and you’ll find out what exactly you can do about it. Any questions and comments are welcome! ;-) Robby
Spoken English Practice While Driving to Work
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s been dealt with”
Today I’m going to provide you with a new English idiomatic expression which will come in handy in situations when you have to report completion of an assignment. “IT’S BEEN DEALT WITH” is the phrase in question, and you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m discussing the merits of this particular phrase. To be honest with you, there are simpler expressions which can be used in pretty much the same situations: “It’s done”, “It’s sorted” or “I’ve done it”. “It’s been dealt with”, however, implies that your assignment has demanded quite a lot of effort, so you may want to use this expression when you’ve been dealing with a complicated matter and you’re telling someone that it’s been dealt with. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!
SHOCKING: Drinking Impedes Your Ability to Speak Fluent English!
7 English Words & Phrases I Thought Were Wrong (But Then It Turned Out I WAS WRONG)!
Back in the day when I was a perfectionist regarding the English language, I thought that English grammar rules are set in stone and I used to question and analyze every new English word or expression I came across. It’s no wonder therefore that I thought idiomatic expressions such as “Long time no see! ” were grammatically incorrect while in reality nothing could be further from the truth! You see – some things we say in English aren’t subject to any rules, we JUST SAY THEM and if you start questioning them, you can only make matters worse by confusing yourself to a degree you can’t even speak fluently. Being the perfectionist that I was, I would always take the academic approach and try and put some sort of a structure on everything I would read or hear in English; if something didn’t make sense to me, I would label it as being WRONG. Needless to say, my ability to speak was next to none back then for the simple reason that my textbook-based English was only good for doing grammar tests and constructing grammatically correct sentences on a piece of paper. Whenever I tried to speak with real people in real life, I would apply the same analysis as when writing and doing grammar tests, but the simple truth is that you just can’t speak fluently when you’re constantly questioning yourself and your conversation partner. On top of that, I was fairly stubborn as well, and I just wouldn’t take other people’s advice on board because I was so self-absorbed that I thought I knew everything best! :grin: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Grammar Construct #35: COME + VERB
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Five days ago I learned an American English grammar construct whereby you use the verb GO followed directly by another verb. Today I’m learning how to use another English verb in a similar fashion; it’s the verb to COME, to be more specific, Here’s an example: COME SEE ME at 2:00 PM sharp, I’ll be waiting for you at the shopping mall car park exit! What’s so special about the phrase COME SEE ME? Well, before I came across this particular grammar construct in one of the GONE series books, I would have said “Come AND see me at…” It’s not that it would make a massive difference in the message that’s being communicated to the other person; it’s just that native English speakers omit any words in between COME and the verb that follows it in conversational English, and you’ll sound just that little bit more native-like if you adopt the same speech pattern! Other sample sentences where this grammar construct is used: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”
English Verb “To GET” & How To Use It in Phrasal Verbs, Expressions & More!
I love simple, short English verbs such as TO DO, TO PUT, TO GET and others - the reason being: the same verb can be used in a huge number of different situations thus making it possible for you to communicate about A LOT without spending a lot of time on learning massive amounts of new English vocabulary! Just look at how the simple verb TO GET replaces other words: Do you understand me? – Do you GET me? (As a matter of fact, this is what you should say when asking people if they understood what you’ve just said – a lot of foreigners overuse the verb “to understand”!) How much do you earn? – How much do you GET? Will you arrive on time? – Will you GET there on time? Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that you didn’t know the words “to understand”, “to earn” and “to arrive”. If that were the case, you’d hardly be able to formulate the above questions without using the word TO GET, and it just goes to show how effective it is to learn how to… Use One Word in 100 Different Ways Instead of Learning 100 Different Words! Well, obviously I’m not trying to discourage you from learning more English words and widening your vocabulary, it’s just that I’ve always believed it’s much easier to learn to speak English fluently with limited vocabulary and THEN learn more words. Unfortunately, so many foreign English speakers (I was one of them, by the way!) are trying to build massive vocabularies believing that it will somehow make them fluent while in reality nothing could be further from the truth … Anyway, let’s stop beating around the bush and here’s all you’ll ever need to know about the English verb TO GET! ;-) (more…)
2 Dictionary Websites You’ll Ever Need To Improve Your English
Do You Find Certain English Grammar Constructs TOO DIFFICULT To Learn? Try This Easy 3 Step Plan!
Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Have you ever found certain grammar constructs too difficult to understand and learn? Welcome to the club! I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that this is something that all foreign English speakers have in common, and even if you don’t feel that way now, there’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand, mimic and use in your own conversations. Let’s just take the sentence from the paragraph above and examine it a little: “There’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand.” Now, would you be comfortable with using a similar grammar construct in your own speech? Are you often saying things such as “There have been similar situations when I’ve…” or “There’s been only one time when I’ve…”? If your answer is positive – well done! Your spoken English is seemingly up to scratch and you may ignore the rest of this article because you don’t need my help splitting English sentences in order to make it easier for you to speak them out loud. If, however, you struggle to a smaller or bigger degree with delivering similar seemingly complex constructs when speaking and you find it hard to wrap your head around sentences similar to this one: “Why is it that when Martin’s been out partying you don’t say anything yet had I stayed out all night long you would have killed me?”, you definitely have to read the rest of this blog post! ;-) (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It slipped my mind”
Do I Speak at the Same Speed in Real Life as in My Videos & How to Maintain Optimal Speed of Speech
English Idiomatic Expression: “Needless To Say”
Hello boys and girls, I’m back with another English idiomatic expression! This time around I’m going to look at the following phrase: “needless to say”, and I think this one is quite self-explanatory. Basically you can use this phrase whenever you’re going to say something common sense, something that is very logical and straightforward, something that may as well not be said because it kind of goes without saying. Let’s say, for example, you’re filling your friend in on something that happened while he wasn’t at work, and here’s what you’re saying: “… and then Jane told him everything she thought of him and needless to say, he hasn’t spoken to her since!” (more…)
4 Pieces of Evidence That Past Experience, Context and Mental Associations is Everything When it Comes to Spoken English
We humans are creatures of habit and conditioning and all our actions are rooted in the past performance and experience. No matter what human activity is looked at, chances are that your subconscious remembers similar activity from the past and it dictates you what to do. The tricky part is, you might not be even aware of it because your brain literally has a mind of its own and you might have a very little say in the process. Let’s say for instance, you’ve just started in a new company and you have to speak with plenty of new people during your first days in the new job. Your English performance is quite good, and you’re satisfied with yourself. Then comes along a particular person you experience a few awkward moments with because you don’t really know what to say to each other. You hesitate, you stutter, you say something silly. It’s no big deal, it happens to everyone, right? Yeah, right… Try to say it to your brain :!: :grin: There’s a big likelihood that every time you meet that person, you’ll be more prone to making mistakes and not being able to speak proper English - and all because of that first bad experience. And, if it happens for a few more times, the damage is done. Conditioned reflex has been created. Do you want more proof that past experience and spoken English performance are closely related resulting in conditioned reflexes? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll see for yourself that spoken English is all about past experiences, associations and conditioned behavioral patterns :!: (more…)
In Real Life Your English is Judged by Your SPEECH!
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”
Hello my dear followers! I hope you’ve been putting my advice to good use and you’ve been incorporating various English idiomatic expressions into your daily English conversations! So, how’s it been? Have you been taking action? Well, try being totally honest with yourself and admit if you’ve been a bit lazy – recognition is the first step on the road to recovery - that’s what they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, if I’m not mistaken … Of course, addiction such as alcoholism is not to be taken lightly, and I’m not trying to make a fun of it. All I’m trying to do here is draw parallels between being addicted to a substance and being addicted to procrastination which is sometimes JUST AS harmful to our development as substance abuse :!: (more…)
Learning English Phrases Beats Learning Individual Words Hands Down!
Develop Your English Fluency by Helping Others!
Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve been working on my English. Truth be told, my English learning methods didn’t do much good to my fluency because I spent most of my time learning English grammar, reading and writing and as a result I developed something I like to call a “writing mode” of my mind (read more about it HERE). Nonetheless, I was constantly striving to improve my English and whenever one of my friends would ask me to help them to translate something from English or to make a phone call and talk to an English speaker on their behalf, I never said NO. Helping others became a whole lot more frequent when I moved to Ireland back in 2002 because there were a lot of things to be done in order to settle down in the foreign country – starting from opening a bank account and ending with renting a house – and plenty of my fellow Latvians asked for my assistance when dealing with native English speakers in various institutions or via the phone. During the Celtic Tiger boom years there was a never-ending stream of Latvian immigrants coming to Ireland many of which happened to be my friends or relations, so needless to say I had to help many of them to deal with local authorities, utility companies and the like. And guess what? As a result of all those countless hours of helping others to write correspondence in English, translate from English and also acting as an interpreter on quite a lot of occasions, I immensely improved my own English! Fair enough, I was constantly struggling with my spoken English because I still kept resorting to traditional English learning methods when studying the language at home, and it’s only 5 years after I arrived in Ireland that I finally realized what I had to do in order to speak fluently. Having said all this however, I have to admit that by helping others I was doing myself a really big favor because I was constantly exposing myself to real life English and it did contribute into my personal English fluency development big time. Was I annoyed a lot of times for being constantly asked for help? Hell yes! Do I regret it now? Hell no! :grin: Now I fully understand that by constantly being out there and helping my fellow Latvians deal with daily problems in an English speaking country I was improving my own English, and there’s no reason, by the way, why you couldn’t do the same thing. So here’s what I’ve been doing throughout the years for others in terms of helping them to deal with the English language related issues (and there’s no reason in the world why YOU couldn’t start doing the same thing!): (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 25 – 38 in a Self-Practice Session
English Collocation: The Worst Case Scenario
5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language
Hi Guys! ;-) Today's article is brought to you by Dusty Fox from a website called Listen & Learn, and in this blog post she will look at some of the most popular English words having emerged or re-emerged in the mainstream society. You'll also find out about the background of those words - such as "hipster" or "locavore", so without a further ado, it's over to you - Dusty! * * * The English language is an evolving one with new words popping up year after year. It seems like pop culture, social media, and our need to be constantly plugged into an electronic and hyper-connected world is in overdrive. This means new words appear and spread like wild fire, reaching countries in every corner of the world in no time at all. Some words are instant classics, embraced by all and seamlessly blended into our everyday dialogue. Usually, we don't even realize the moment we adopt these words and phrases into our vocabulary, but nonetheless, they somehow work their way into conversations, posts, and tweets before we know it. There are plenty of words that are handy to know before striking up a conversation with an English speaker. Test your English level before trying out the new entries in the English vocabulary - here's a look at some of the trendiest English words that have made headlines over the last several years: (more…)
Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!
Happy New Year 2017 my friends foreign English speakers and all my followers! I’m wishing you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year! Personally for me this last year has been very challenging and full of surprises, but I can proudly say that I accomplished what I set out to do and I secured a job in the IT sector as a foreign English speaker. Have you got similar dreams and ambitions? Do you feel like you’re kind of stuck and you would really like to change things? Do you plan to move to an English speaking country to study? Do you finally want to find a better job where you can realize your full potential and also use the English language? Or maybe you want to start your own YouTube channel about a specific topic and publish videos as a foreign English speaker? Everything is possible. EVERYTHING! Just set your goal for the year 2017, come up with a simple action plan and follow through with it. It really is THAT simple my friends! Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Your English fluency coach, Robby ;-)
Which is Better – Direct or Indirect Speech?
How to Learn English Synonyms and Antonyms Effectively
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls, hello my dear foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video I'm going to address the following topic: how to learn English synonyms and antonyms effectively. And the reason for me recording this video I got asked this question by one of my blog readers and I decided that I have to record this video because I haven't actually addressed this question in any of my videos or articles over the last 8 years if I'm not mistaken. So synonyms and antonyms. Let's address the synonyms first. And I've taken a simple word which is CONTROVERSIAL in our case. And I've entered it up in a website called thesaurus.com where you can find a large number of synonyms and antonyms for any word imaginable, right? So controversial, and the synonyms as per this website are as follows: contentious, disputed, dubious, questionable, arguable, argumentative and so on and so forth. So it begs the question how can you learn them all, right? (more…)
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. That's me, obviously Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and you are very welcome back to my video blog! Now, today I decided to record a video dedicated to a particular English idiomatic expression, namely “to take something for granted”. And the reason why I decided to record this particular video is because I got a comment on my blog recently. To be more specific it's only 6 minutes old, right? And here is what it says. As a matter of fact, it was published on another English idiomatic expression page, The Big Picture and the commentator says this is an incredible video, really got the meaning very quickly and here's the request: Robby, can you make a video for this idiomatic expression “to take something for granted”? Thank you. And guess what? You're lucky, my friend, tonight I'm in a good mood so I decided hey, why not? You know what I mean. And as a matter of fact, I wanted to record a video anyway so I was like okay, I'll do a video about this particular idiomatic expression. So if you are interested in finding out how to use this particular one and what kind of situations it can be used in, please bear with me for a few more moments. Did you hear how I kind of started stumbling upon words? Bear with me for a few mo - mo - mo more moments or something like that? It's all part of the English Harmony philosophy, my friends. Even if you make a little mistake, even if you stumble upon words a little bit it doesn't matter. Just keep pushing on, you know what I mean? Keep pushing the envelope and keep speaking with yourself because that is the surefire way to English fluency. (more…)
3 Lessons Learned While Living Among Native English Speakers for 10 Years
1. Native English speakers will judge your ability to speak English based on their experiences with you – not your true knowledge. Why? Simple – all they can see is your performance, they can’t get inside your head! It’s just a fact of life – you’ll be judged based on how you respond to certain situations, and you’d better be prepared to face up to some challenges if you want to come across as a good English speaker! Basically what I’ve learned is that it’s not necessarily about how well you ARE ABLE to speak in English; on most occasions it’s more important to be able to react fast, not get tongue-tied and ignore your own embarrassment (seriously, it’s not that hard. If it helps, tell yourself that even native English speakers get tongue-tied sometimes!). Let me give you an example. The other day a big customer of ours had arrived and we were all having a chat in our knitwear factory’s hall. A couple of Polish girls happened to walk by having just finished their shift and our man said something to one of them – just a friendly jest. The Polish girl obviously didn’t get what he said to her, but instead of saying “Excuse me, can you say it again?” she just smiled awkwardly and walked away. (more…)