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Thread Started by #rs111

My English is not very fluent. Fluency in English is the most important skill required in Indian corporate in modern times. However, if I am asked to research the topic and make powerpoint presentation - I make it very well, but if I am asked to give oral presentation on the same, I can't. If I am asked to write an essay on particular topic I can write it very well using good words. But in oral interview, I am not able to perform well. However, till date I got selected wherever I went for interview, but I am made to sacrifice on higher designation and salary part However, now I am atleast able to perform better than 5 years ago when I was not even able to answer the question. But still I am not fluent and smart in answering questions. I often make silly grammatical mistakes while talking & often pause in middle.during interview or presenting myself in meetings or anywhere else. I wonder why the employer selects me. I was in a situation during my job where I was asked to give oral presentation in front of team and it was my biggest flop show in life. I behaved like jerk. I forgot all the points as soon as I came in front. I wasn't knowing what to say. And I requested the TL whether I can read in the notes. He allowed me but the way I was presenting the people were getting bored and TL was making facial expression as if he want to say shut-up and stop.

In my previous job I was given a feedback that I am great in written communication like drafting letters and e-mails etc. and my telephonic skills are also great but my personality is not pleasant. I am not presentable as well as my oral communication is worse. I was working there as tele-sales executive and I also made sales via phone, satisfied customer queries etc. But when I have to talk face to face, I don't understand what happens to me.

Why why why? Why is this happening to me? I want to grow professionally but without pleasant personality and communication skills how will I win the battle. I feel like a pathetic loser when I see that freshers and people younger than me are smarter than me. How come this freshers are smarter than me. I don't understand where I went wrong. Is it my abusive upbringing or my own weaknesses that are coming in the way I don't understand.

P.S. - I don't say my written and phone communication are 100% perfect. But they are much better than oral. I make silly grammatical mistakes out of nervousness while speaking or presenting. Please don't judge my written communication based on this post as I typed it in hurry.
11th January 2013 From India, Ahmedabad
Please refer the below links and I know you will find the answer for your query.
How to Develop Good Communication Skills: 16 steps
Have patience and confidence, you can achieve what you are lacking now. Don't lose hope. Best of luck!!
11th January 2013 From India, Delhi
Don't panic!! It happens with many. In India where people are concentrated on mother tongue compared to English its a very common issue. Do not feel offended. You need to work on your confidence. Start thinking positive about yourself. The essay/para you write can be loudly spoken. Practice in front of a mirror. You can ask your closest friend / colleague to speak with you in English which might help you overcome your fear. If you are good with your skills & talent you need not worry. If time permits you can join some personality strengthening coaching.
I appreciate that you have guts to mention the weakness in such open forum. Having said that I mean you are very clear about what is the major hindrance in your career & hence I am sure you can overcome this easily.
11th January 2013 From India, Ahmedabad
its just a matter of shy, be clean and clear on what you want to communicate and understand before presenting it to anyone, practise makes a man perfect, you might fail in the first few, but don't lose hope, mistakes can be corrected by practising regularly
11th January 2013 From India, Chennai
As per my view, You are much concerned about others views on you. Please be bold and stop caring about others opinions, You can defiantly come out of this problem soon. This is not the way out for your problem, but This is the initial step to be taken in order to see yourself where you want.
Represent yourself with your fullest name wherever you are and feel proud about discussing about you regarding your oral skills. Do remember always, "Wether its Good or bad, But you are a point of discussion".
All the best for your next steps, assuming you have already started the first step I referred. :)
11th January 2013 From India, Bangalore
I can understand your situation... you are being too concious while talking and always think about events which failed you...
first of all be positive think you can do it!!! initially even i wasnt a great speaker but now i do conduct training thats because of confidence and practise.
Talk frequently in english when you are with your friends, ask them to correct your grammatical mistakes and accent... even if they make fun of you dont lose heart its common for everyone to pull each other's leg..
make it a point to watch one english movie and english serials with sub-titles on everyday basis... these days every other channel has programs and movies telecasted with subtitles.
dont expect to master this language instantly it will take a lot of time... patience is the only MANTRA!!!
happy learning!!!
11th January 2013 From India, Bangalore
Hello RS :
Everyone has given some really valuable suggestion, it is now upto you to pick the best and take it forward.
Just to add please join a public speaking short term course from a recognised institute. This will enable you to elevate your confidence and improve public speaking.
My friend there is nothing to worry most of us have gone through this phase and apparently what matters is not the number of times we fall but how we choose to raise up and forge ahead. Believe me you are much better than many others... I can say this since I have met Engg grads who have excelled academically but lack basic communication skills.
11th January 2013 From India, Pune
Dear Friend,
I also face this situation, but I never loose my confidence.
When you will give presentation next time, remind the points i.e. 1,2,3,4. and practice in front of your colleagues / friends.
And neglect others unwanted openions.
I attached here one nice presentation which help you to build up your confidence.
All the best.
11th January 2013 From India, Mumbai

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File Type: ppt Secrets of Life.ppt (313.5 KB, 511 views)


I would like to tell you that Do not assume you cannot speak in english fluently. Because if your written communication is strong, it means you know the language and proper usage of grammar. The problem is whilst speaking.

It is very common. If I look at my personality some years back, I was facing similar problem. Not only with English but even if i had to communicate face to face with someone even in Hindi or my mother tongue.

The problem was lack of confidence, shyness and my introvert nature.

But every problem has a solution, and even your problem can be solved.

Communication is a base to any form of interaction. Speaking is a little difficult than writing cause-

1. While speaking, one's mind should work at a speed greater than while writing as we cannot fall short of words while speaking and go blank.

2. Speaking will not involve just plain words - Each word we speak would be added by the weights of our tone, clarity, expression, pronunciation, the accent etc.

Hence it is a common problem with many of us that though we are strong in written communication, when it comes to speaking, we take a back seat.

What should be done:

1. Read novels or dramas that involves dialouges and speak out loud the dialouges with proper emotions and intensity.

2. Speak to mirror: At first it would be difficult even to look into our own eyes in the mirror. But eventually we'll be able to and then we can speak. If you're not comfortable making a rapport with your mirror image, talk with it in your mother tongue and later start conversing in informal english. Do this for almost 15-20 days and when you think you have a little grip over English, than you can start forming some prepared notes to speak to yourself (formal ones) and later go for unprepared or extempore.

3. Play: Honestly we forget the child in us who wish to flourish and learn more. Give yourself 1-2 min to prepare pointers on any given topic. Keep a timer / stopwatch to keep a track. After this time yourself to 3-5 min and you speak whatever you can in that time. Do not think if what you're saying is right or wrong, on the topic or off, as there would be no one to judge you. But speak, speak out whatever comes.

4. Once you think you've better grip on the language you can ask someone to judge your extempore play and evaluate it for you. Ask someone who you confide with so that you are not scared.

5. Whenever you meet different people, talk. For eg. I stay in Mumbai. I meet so many people every day. From my watchman to laundry man to auto driver to co-commuters in train and bus to colleagues to random people in lift etc. Smile to them and atleast wish them for the day. This will help you gain confidence and make your as well as their day. Neither you nor them lose right.

6. Have self confidence.You know that you're written format is good. So don't be scared of faltering somewhere. And if you'd listen carefully to many of the people who speak fluent English with lots of confidence, you'd be able to make out mistakes in their language.

In simple terms all i wish to say is - We all make mistakes but that don't mean we stop doing the thing. Failure is not the actual failure but not trying is definetly a failure...

Don't worry have a little confidence and keep me posted how did it help you.

All the best. :)
11th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hello Rs111,

You have received some wonderful and insightful suggestions above. I am sure you will be benefitted following them.

Additionally, try to find a Toastmasters Club in your area. Toastmasters club is an international level organization with local and regional clubs spread all over the world including India. Here, people learn to improve their speaking skills. Toastmasters help members to enhance their public speaking and leadership skills. I think that it would a perfect platform for you to practice speaking in English in front of an audience. Once you deliver a speech, your speech is evaluated by an experienced member. Such constructive feedback will further help you make improvements wherever necessary; and the same time, you will be able to deal with the nervousness you experience while speaking. The atmosphere here is very friendly and supportive. Here is the link to the Toastmasters International website where you can find if there's a club in your area:

Find a Club - Toastmasters International

Remember, English is not our mother-tongue. So, it's very natural to feel uncomfortable. But I congratulate you to have identified your limitation and that you're willing to overcome it! You initiated the first step and see how many people came forward to help and support you.

The key is Practice-Practice-Practice! Follow the leads offered by everyone, do what suits you best and before long, you'll be fluent !!


12th January 2013 From United States, Cary
Dear RS111,

After going through yr note I can say you have one biggest fault and unless you remove this it will be really difficult for you to grow in corporate sector.

Your weakness is lack of self confidence, on one side you say you can write quite good English, you can prepare good presentations may be due to lack of self confidence you are unable to express yourself may be you are afraid of people, may be you are not sure of the knowledge you have, so first thing start believing yourself. Study the related materials. Everyday morning just read the news paper fully. Gather all the information about your business/trade and make your self a multifaceted person. To succeed in competitive world you must have knowledge of all the subjects. This is the best route to increase the self-confidence. Second thing important is stop feeling others are smarter then you as when you yourself are not ready to trust yourself how can you expect others to trust you and your capabilities. Now come to English speaking, it's not a difficult job I have seen people without basic knowledge speaks good English. Any way to develop this join good speaking course they charge around Rs.3000.00 and provide you all the material and coaching on the subject for 1 to 3 months. I am sure even if not perfect you can become a good speaker. So I hope if you agree to my advise within a month you will be a different person. Full of confidence and far better then others (freshers).

I wish you good luck.
12th January 2013 From India, Delhi
your problem is not english but psychological
presentation is an art . it can be learnt . if u are strong on your knowledge base the presentation is a joke.
fear of the audience must be eliminated .
i dont know where u live , please visit indore for 7 and 1/2 days we will cure your problem free of cost and send u bk a better person .
dr ram
12th January 2013 From India, Indore
Frist of all I would like to congrtulate you for knowing and accepting a drawback.
Now as you know and accept-- find a workable solution.
I suggestthe following:--
1.Join a debating club
2.Try and speak to strangers in English--memosise by heart few lines in the begining and then increase the length of conversation.
3.Try and join a tourist Co as guide on Sundays--even if they do not pay you it should be fine.
4.Do not be afraid of making mistakes while speaking or the pauses-- in fact it is an art to gain attention.Few of our Pol leaders are master of this art.
5.Seek profeesional help /join communication course.
Best of luck .
Am sure you will become a very good speaker.
Col.Suresh Rathi
12th January 2013 From India, Delhi
I fully agree with Purva's statement of attending Toast Master Club. Trust me I had the same problem for many years however since the time I joined TM club 6 months ago in Oman, I am gaining a good level of confidence and now my colleagues in fact compliment me about my speaking skills. The point is TM club gives a good platform to unleash the fear factors accumulated in the brain for many years which inhibit our though process or make us blank when the moment we think of standing and talking in front of the crowd.
However as everyone suggested the buzz word is sincere practice which is utmost important.
12th January 2013 From Oman, Muscat
I think the difference is that, while writing, we have sufficient time to choose the right words, usages and rewrite the whole sentence if necessary, whereas while speaking, you dont have enough time; once so many words pop up together in your brain to express one thing, you start pondering over which one to use and sometimes you might overstrain your brain to pick the most appropriate , and as you said, when nervousness is added to the already miserable state, in the process you forget what you were saying loosing the connection, and eventually stopping the sentence without completing it. I went through this, and I should admit at times it still happens.

You can easily overcome this barrier I can assure you, since your language is good; believe me that your language is much better compared to that of many posts that used to appear in this forum,. What you need is constant practice. Speaking needs lot of practice unless you acquire the language in your early ages. As advised above by many experts, speaking to mirror, joining toastmasters club and more importantly stop worrying about your flaws will help you succeed.

Well, it is just a matter of time in your case, for you to be a fluent English Speaker, if you practice and constantly listen to fluent speakers. Having said the above, note that public speaking is something else, which needs a lot of practice and a bit of talent too. Not all native English speakers are good public speakers, likewise all native Hindi speakers are not public speakers and the above applies to all languages, just to mention that public speaking needs certain skills .

I have no doubt that you will improve very fast….parctice and just believe in yourself..

Good luck!
5th February 2013 From Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
i see u have lot of adivice available to you .
now to come to some concrete work
1. register in skype
2. search dr_ram
3. send a add request
4. come on line in the evening between 8 pm to 10 video chat on monday wednesday friday .[ however i am to be admitted in hospital for this friday and saturday ie 8 feb and 9 feb
5. i will help u improve your speaking and explaining skill step by step .
6. other members are also welcome.
u can connect on google hangout also
will make u the best in 90 days .
i charge no fees and no hidden cost .
dr ram
5th February 2013 From India, Indore
Dear Friend,
I can understand your problem. You are good at english and you are unable to talk to the people because you have a preconceived notion that you fail, this is what is the root cause for your failure.
Pl. stop thinking much about the same. If you are not good at the language then you have to join in some courses etc., but as per the information submitted by you, you are good at english language hence I suggest that you should take some classes for lower level student like 7th 10th class so that you will come out of fear psycho and as well as you are comfortable in talking in public. Pl. try this, prior to this you should practice for week or so ( a minimum of 15mts to half-an-hour on any topic ) in front of a full size mirror. Finally you will become master in public speaking.
Regards - kamesh
5th February 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Rs !!!:

You may have noticed that instead of addressing you with 3 111's I addressed you with 3 !!!'s. And that is what you are. Exceptional, brilliant and exceptionally brilliant. And, when it comes to your oral communication skills you are brilliantly exceptional. What does all this mean? Very simply it's a question of your attitude towards yourself. You've gotten yourself to believe - and wrongly so -- that you are no good, in terms of your personality. poise and whatever; and that too founded on the unfair/unjust opinion of others. Now do a little experiment - stand in front of a full length mirror, hold your head high, push your body back, take in a large dose oxygen by inhaling through the mouth. hold your breath till the count of five, exhale through the nose slowly and you'll already start feeling more vibrant and alive. Assuming that you are attired in your office apparel - clean, well starched clothes, with shoes really their best - start talking of anything that comes to your in a load, clear voice to yourself and keep raising the pitch as you keep talking to your 'audience' viz. yourself.All the while look closely to your body language, gestures and postures - especially the movement of your arms and hands, and you'll soon ( with a few practice sessions of this sort - add variety as per your imagination ) be on the way to becoming a confident speaker, before any audience, small or large. Best of luck! Smile I know you'll succeed.
6th February 2013 From Pakistan, Karachi
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