Pronunciation is one of the important sub skills of speaking that people avoid because it is difficult or ignore because they have had success at being understood. Yes, the most important thing when speaking is to be understood, but beyond that good pronunciation can make you a much better communicator.

Pronunciation skills can be used to emphasize important points, communicate your emotions, and make people pay attention to what you are saying. For example, effective pronunciation will make any kind of oral presentation a lot better. In the days of video production, you also need good pronunciation to give your online videos impact. Here, then, are a few tips to help you improve your pronunciation:

  1. Know the important subskills that affect pronunciation. These are word sounds, stress, sentence stress, speed, rhythm and intonation.
  2. Listen to lots of good examples of pronunciation. This is easy to do now with so many online resources. For example, you can watch a TED presentation. Choose one that you already know. This time listen to how the speaker pronounces. Podcasts are also a very good source of material.
  3. Repeat words and sentences. Find some content, write the words and sentences down. Repeats each word/ sentence, focusing on your pronunciation. The key here is to use examples that you already know and understand. This way, you do not think about meaning or grammar. You can completely concentrate on the pronunciation. A great idea is to use samples from presentations that you have already listened to and studied.
  4. Record yourself. Yes, it might seem weird at first, but after a little bit you will get used to the sound of your voice. Play back the recording and analyse your pronunciation performance in relation to the subskills identified above.
  5. Focus on one subskill at a time. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to try and improve everything together. This is especially true with pronunciation. Therefore you might like to limit yourself and concentrate on one of the subskills, such as individual sounds, or speaking at different speeds without hesitation.

Let’s hope these tips have given you some ideas. Please post your questions on pronunciation in the comments section below!