“Why don’t people understand me? People are always telling me to repeat myself especially on the phone,” says one client. ”I don’t hear the difference between some sounds, and I have a hard time getting my ideas together when I give presentations at work,” says another. What do these clients have in common? They both are seeking accent reduction instruction, so they can perform better at work. The goal of accent reduction training is the production of easily understood concise speech. Whether contributing in a meeting at work or giving a presentation at school, knowing that your speech is clear and concise provides the confidence needed to communicate effectively.
Difficulty producing clear and concise speech can result from multiple challenges. Voice disorders, stuttering, rapid rate of speech, challenges with non-verbal language, inadequate ability to hear sounds, or problems planning and organizing ideas can occur with a strong accent and impact communication. One person wanted to work on reducing stuttering behavior and changing his accent to feel more confident giving his dissertation at school. Another worked on accent reduction, breath support, and ways to take care of his voice to improve loudness and quality on the phone. Although often sought by people for whom English is a second language, anyone can improve or change their accent for clearer speech. The most powerful instruction in accent reduction identifies and treats all speech and language challenges.