How to Speak English Confidently (About Almost Anything!)
Are you ever unsure about the right word to use in a conversation?
Perhaps you worry about making potentially embarrassing grammar and pronunciation mistakes.
Or maybe you sometimes feel like you’re held back in your career because your professional skills are high, but your English ability is low.
If so, it’s not your fault.
The surprising truth is traditional language learning methods make speaking confidently almost impossible.
These methods emphasize learning MORE words, phrases, grammar, and translations… But never seem to bring learners closer to confidence and fluency.
Instead… I’m excited to tell you that the solution is simply to learn LESS!
Today, I’ll show you the ONLY way to learn English so you feel confident speaking about almost any topic.
It’s simple, fast and easy. Plus, you can do it all by yourself!
Change the Way You Think About Learning English
First, imagine a brick.
How many different ways to use the brick can you think of?
Before scrolling further, take 30 seconds, and think of as many ideas as you can.
Some uses might be:
- To build a house
- As a paperweight
- As a counterweight
- As a prop
- As a yoga block
- To display as art
- As a weapon for throwing
- As a game to see who can throw it further
- To break a window
- As a weight to exercise with
- Something to sit on
- A shelf for books
- A very hard pillow
Now, you might be wondering:
“What does this have to do with feeling confident when I’m speaking English?”
Well, this exercise connects directly with how native speakers learn English, which is VERY important for you to understand if your goal is smooth communication.
Let me explain…
Go Deep, Not Wide
The other day, I was walking my older daughter Aria to school, and she asked me:
“Dad, what does harsh mean?”
Rather than give her a definition…
The first thing I did was ask her where she heard the word.
She told me it was while watching a TV show she likes called Boss Baby.
“What was happening in the show when you heard the word?” I asked.
Aria then explained that one of the characters was yelling at someone. And another character responded by saying:
“Don’t be so harsh.”
So, I explained the context to help Aria discover the meaning of the word:
One person was angry, and they spoke some harsh words, or harsh language. They were being mean. It was a difficult and tense situation. It was hard to handle for the person being yelled at.
It’s important to notice that I explained all this to her in English (without translating).
But I didn’t stop there, because my goal wasn’t only to define the word. I want to help her REALLY understand it so she uses it confidently and fluently for the rest of her life.
So as we continued to walk to school, I gave her many more examples.
I asked her what harsh weather might mean.
Would it be:
A warm sunny day, with a nice breeze?
A cold and rainy day, where the wind blows so hard the rain stings your face?
She thought a moment and chose the second option.
So, we can have harsh weather. We could even be more specific, and say there’s a harsh storm, like a nasty blizzard.
I also might wash dishes with some harsh soap that hurts my hands. It’s rough, leaving my skin dry and cracked.
Then I asked her:
“What would a harsh season mean for a farmer? Good times, or hard times? And what about harsh conditions for skiing? Would this mean it’s easy or difficult to see and ski? And how about if the sun is harsh? Would I need some sunglasses, or not?”
We continued this way until we reached her school.
Of course, I tested her a week later, and asked what “harsh” meant. She quickly said, “Difficult.” 🙂
The main idea, (just like with the brick exercise above) is that we don’t stop with one example. We want to go deep and make sure that we can UNDERSTAND words very well.
This also makes vocabulary MEMORABLE, so you recall the right words confidently and correctly when you speak!
Isn’t this cool?
The truth is natives speak fluently because of how native speakers learn, NOT because of where they live. Natives make STRONG connections with vocabulary in many different contexts, all in English.
So they get a deep understanding of a words and grammar, and learn how language can be used in different situations.
This means YOU can also get fluent ANYWHERE, all by yourself, as long as you get the same kind of “deep lessons” that natives get.
Think about this:
When my daughter Aria hears the word harsh now, do you think she’ll have trouble understanding what it means? Or, do you think she’ll feel nervous about saying the word herself?
And now that you’ve learned harsh the same way, you will feel confident about using it, too!
When you learn this way – what I call learning English as a FIRST language (EFL) – you can then use words and grammar in many more situations, which helps you feel confident speaking about almost anything!!
If you KNOW a lot of English, but struggle to SPEAK...Learn More about Fluent for Life
The Difference Between EFL and ESL
When you learn English as a second language (ESL), the goal is to give you translations of words and phrases so you build a broad vocabulary as quickly as possible.
Learners often think that if they know 1,000 words, then they must be able to use this vocabulary confidently.
But what happens is this approach only gives a passive, surface-level understanding, not the DEEP LEVEL that gives you certainty and confidence. So, words are quickly forgotten, and you feel frustrated when speaking.
Returning to the brick example, the ESL approach would most only teach you that a brick is used to build a house. Then you’d move on to the next word or phrase.
That’s not much of a lesson, is it?
But as you saw with the native (EFL) example of the word HARSH, vocabulary can be used in many different ways.
Remember that real communication is dynamic. It changes depending on who you’re speaking with, and in different situations.
Your ability to speak confidently depends on how well you can understand and react to the other person in the conversation.
So the trick to building confidence and fluency is NOT to memorize…
You must feel prepared for the unexpected by understanding vocabulary DEEPLY, which can be done by getting many examples of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Without this deep understanding of vocabulary, you’re left translating words in your head before you speak. You hesitate, pause, and feel uncomfortable.
But when you understand vocabulary really well, you can speak about more topics much sooner. So even though you’re learning less, you build overall fluency and confidence much faster. 🙂
Learn the Easy, Natural Way to Speak English Confidently
The EFL method helps you learn like a native, but it’s even more systematic. You FOCUS on one thing until you really understand it. Maybe it’s one phrase at a time, one idiom, one grammar point, one topic, or one part of pronunciation.
But you do less to get better results, faster!
When you truly feel confident about what you learn, you can more quickly move on to the next thing. So improvement accelerates. It’s like money you save that keeps earning more money for you!
It’s really that simple.
If you KNOW a lot of English, but struggle to SPEAK...Learn More about Fluent for Life
But this isn’t just some special method I created…
Language researchers like Dr. Stephen Krashen confirmed that fluency is the result of how much you understand, NOT how large your vocabulary is, or how much speaking practice you get.
Even in conversations, it’s not what you say, but what the other person says that improves your understanding of English, and your fluency.
So, the best “practice” for learning how to speak English fluently is to get more understandable messages.
Your understanding (and fluency) comes from getting understandable examples and stories from different native speakers, just like my daughter Aria learns. (You’ve likely noticed that many native children can speak better than adult English learners, even though the adults might know more words. This is because children learn the DEEP way!)
So, the goal is NOT to know every word.
It’s to know the vocabulary so well you use it without thinking.
You want to build a 1000-word vocabulary that you can use confidently, one word at a time.
It’s about QUALITY, not quantity.
Develop Confidence and Learn English Like a Native Speaker
Remember: Your ability to speak confidently is the result of understanding English like a native speaker.
So if your goal is to speak fluently and confidently, and you want a proven system to follow so you can feel prepared for real conversations, then check out Fluent For Life – it’s the only guaranteed way to speak fluent English in the next 30 days or less.