"Champions keep playing until they get it right." Billie Jean King
I come across many students who say, "I want to speak fluent English." You have learnt riding scooter, bike and driving car: you know that nobody teaches you to ride or drive fast. Your instructor just teaches you to ride or drive. Once you learn riding or driving, you increase your speed gradually.
Your parents never taught you to run. They taught you to walk. Once you start walking, you start running gradually. You don’t require much training and special efforts to run. However, you require assistance and training to start walking.
Focus on speaking English. Once you start speaking English, you build fluency soon or gradually.
Take example of your mother tongue, be it Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Guajarati or Marathi, you never think of building fluency. You focus on speaking and fluency follows.
Just pause for a second and ask yourself, "Why haven’t I thought about speaking my mother tongue fluently?"
The reason is very simple: you are very comfortable speaking your mother tongue.
Exactly! You need to be very comfortable in speaking English. Once you are comfortable expressing yourself using English language, you build your fluency automatically.
In my next article, I will discuss how to become comfortable in speaking English.
When I was struggling to improve my command of English language, I had some misconceptions about fluency until I met one of my bosses who happened to be a graduate from London Business School.
During my first interaction with him he explained everything so clearly and slowly as if he was talking to a child. I thought he knew my level of communication and he spoke accordingly. I realized later that he was habitual of speaking very slowly and clearly.
I said to myself, "Being from London Business School, he doesn’t care for fluency and he just makes sure to put across his message eloquently." I just followed him and became confident.
I observed many good speakers and found they focus more on listener and explaining their message. Fluency comes naturally.
Action Points for you
1. Focus on speaking comfortably being a tyro.
2. Make sure listener understands your message and finds it interesting.
3. Once you are comfortable speaking English, start focusing on fluency by speaking more and practicing tongue twisters etc.
"Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action." – Jim Rohn