My job has recently been transferred from the UK to an Asian country. With the move from my established position to a new challenging role in a new environment, I suddenly found myself lacking my usual level of confidence...

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Find Your English Voice: Vital Vocal Improvement Exercises

Posted on Monday, January 23, 2017 by Positivevoice

When it comes to improving language skills, many people are at a loss as to where to start. Having an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses is integral to your success. However, contrary to popular belief, not everyone improves as a direct result of their intellectual understanding of a language. Please remember that children in England learn the English language largely without theory and grammar and mostly through interaction with others, particularly their parents- this explains why we have so many regional accents throughout the UK. There is no denying that this method works, but it does take years for a child to gain a strong grasp of their native language. Additionally, a child's level of English is largely dependent on that of their parents; thus children with parents who have a strong command of the English language, also tend to speak and write better than those who do not have this advantage.

So, how can this process be improved upon and accelerated?

Back in 2012, i decided that i wanted to improve my French, as i was about to move to France. I decided to follow a method that i had heard about from a client. He had managed to take his English to a high level through this method alone. He quite simply listened to an audio book, whilst simultaneously reading the text. In this way, he replaced his voice in his head (that constantly confirmed his mistakes) with the voice of the narrator. This simple technique not only improved my pronunciation, but also the flow of my speech and my use of correct grammar when speaking in French.

In last week's blog, i mentioned a new programme that I have been working on to improve spoken English. The technique i just mentioned, very much forms the basis of this course.

If you would like to give it a go, simply download the audio and pdf in this blog and follow the steps, below. The more thoroughly you follow the process, the better the results will be.

If possible, please print off the following document before beginning this exercise (the audio can also be downloaded, if you wish):

Simple Past downloadSimple Past pdf

1. Read and listen at the same time the whole way through twice

2. Listen and read again, circling any words you don't understand

3. Look up any words you have circled and write their meanings in the margin of the text

4. Take out some coloured pens and highlight anything you consider to be important

5. Listen again, following the, now annotated, text simultaneously

Please do let me know how it goes. If you enjoy the process, i will post more blogs like this.

The Confidence Secret

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2016 by Positivevoice

When someone comes to me saying they lack confidence, have low self-esteem, anxiety about socialising, fear of public speaking or any similar challenge regarding communicating in everyday life situations, I ask a LOT of questions.

There is not one solution to suit everyone, as we are all individuals who have different life experiences. This is not to say that you shouldn't read books, listen to audios or watch videos on the subject. You will find help and comfort in all these things, but please do not expect one solution to work for everyone.

It is for this reason that we all need to connect to our intuition and become our own coach. It can be as simple as asking yourself several questions:

How do i feel?

What does this mean?

What can i do to change this?

The above questions are the ones i routinely recommend, but you can use your intuition and knowledge about yourself to personalise these questions.

Any negative emotions that come up for you are simply your body's way of sending you a sign; it is up to you to interpret these signs in the most positive and empowering way possible and then take action to find solutions. When you stop receiving the sign, you have succeeded.

Example Scenario
"I find certain people really grumpy and rude around me and this knocks my confidence and makes me feel rubbish when i am around them. They don't like me or respect me and this is why i have no confidence..."

This is just one possible story that someone could be running in their head.

Let's confront and analyse the above statements:

No one can make you feel something, you choose to feel it. What encouraged you to choose 'feeling rubbish', as a response? Some people would have chosen humour, others would feel anger and others wouldn't notice. Did they 'make you feel rubbish' or did the feeling rubbish come before? I wonder what would happen if you chose a different approach? Perhaps they would feel better too. Have you ever noticed how infectious happiness can be?

How do you know that they don't like or respect you? Do you have any proof? Do you like and respect them? Would you like to be like them? You can either model their behavior (if you like it) or create a behavior that allows you to lead by example. I encourage my daughter to do just this for her baby brother.

You can choose to consider people like this to be your greatest teachers; they demonstrate how not to behave and through challenging you can act as a catalyst for you to become stronger and wiser. Perhaps, for instance, they are the reason that you are reading this post right now and thinking about how you can become more confident.

The above scenario might not be exactly what is occurring for you right now, but take my responses and see if you can do this for yourself. Take a notebook and write down how you are feeling. Question it and turn it on it's head. Find positives and solutions. If you can do this, you can be your own coach.

Whilst confidence is far from being skin deep, self care and self-love play a big part. If you look good, you will feel better and if you feel better, you will look good, so look after your looks and your health.

One for the women: I'm a big fan of this new Vegan brand: Maelle (paraben free, sls free, phthalates free, fragrance free, dermatalogically tested, cruelty free, peta approved, Leaping bunny certified and vegan).

So much so, in fact, that i am going to start giving their products away at my events next year and generally recommend them to everyone i meet. You can get yours here: Maelle Beauty Products. I find the products pictured above save the day when my baby has kept me up all night and my sister is raving about the mascara! Look out for: My new YouTube channel for all women looking to be more confident and my hypnotherapy downloads soon to go on sale on iTunes and Amazon!

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