Past Blogs

Making the "W" Sound

10/26/2016 Tips for Producing the "w" Sound Many of my Indian, German, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern and other clients find the "w" sound in English to be especially challenging. The advice I give is this: To make the /w/ sound, you're just rounding your lips and blowing air with sound (voice) out of...

Speak From Your Gut

10/26/2016 Speak From Your Gut When people say "Speak from the gut" or "Trust your gut," they are advising their listener to trust their instinct or "inner voice." There really is a lot of wisdom in those words, in many ways. First, your power source for speech, air, is most effective when you allow it to...

Talk to the animals!

08/09/2016 One of the greatest boons of having a pet is that it allows one to talk to oneself. Since we're the first hearers of our own voice, the vocal endearments we lavish on our pet grace our own ears too. Having a pet and petting it activates a loving voice that cossets not just the pet but also its...

Nonverbal Accents

07/25/2016  While speaking with a client of mine from Thailand recently, I raised my eyebrows at one point because I hadn't heard what she had said. Puzzlingly, she just nodded. Then I said, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand the question." After she repeated the question, she told me that she had thought...

Is Stress Stressing You Out?

04/20/2016 My non-native English speaking clients are sometimes surprised to discover that what is making them difficult to understand by others has as much to do (or more) with stress factors than it does with the sounds they are using. Every language has a unique "music." Think of overhearing a group...Enter your text here...

Some Insights I've Gained Through My Accented Clients

02/06/2016 My main role as a speech trainer is to help people to become clear, comfortable, confident communicators. Sometimes this involves changing the accented sounds or rhythm patterns in their speech that make them difficult to understand, especially to unfamiliar listeners and when they are on the...

The "y" sound in English

01/26/2016 The "y" sound in spoken English-- WHY is it sometimes difficult to recognize? Well, as is the case with many sounds in English, YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GO BY SPELLING. The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbol for the "y" in "yellow" sound is [j]. You know there's a [j] sound when you...

The /th/ Sound

11/20/2015 The /th/ sound I think this will work! ai θɪŋk ðɪs wɪl wɝk! Many non-native speakers have difficulty with the /th/ sound. It just does not exist in that many other languages. Greek has it;...

Why Should I Change the Way I Speak?

11/02/2015 "Why should I change the way I speak?" If you are happy with the way you speak, don't change it. But if you are not, do something about it. When you are dissatisfied with something in your appearance, you can alter it, to the extent that is possible. The same is true for your speech. The way you...

What to Look for in a Speech Trainer

10/26/2015 Anyone who has ever attempted to learn another language knows the difficulties in accurately mastering the subtle sounds and nuances of a native speaker. While this might not be a problem when asking for directions to the restroom in a foreign country, in business settings, where intelligibility...

Tough Pronunciations

10/24/2015  I had a client tell me the other day that he was just getting over a bad cuff. "I was cuffing all weekend," he said. "You mean coughing?" I asked, emphasizing the pronunciation. Because of the complex history of English, there are plenty of examples of words that, unless you hear...<< < 1  2