Do you have an accent? Even if you have lived in the U.S. all your life you likely have a regional accent. My regional, Minnesotan accent was clearly apparent to me last week when I spoke in Houston, Texas. Y’all know what I mean?
If you have more than a slight regional accent, you may not be understood or your intentions may be misinterpreted. Today I have a guest blogger, Claudette Roche, a dialect coach.
You may have heard about accent coaches, and you may think they provide services for actors. While that is one aspect of their job, they also provide a valuable skill for business people. Hiring an accent coach can help improve communication in your business.
One of the primary benefits of hiring an accent or dialect coach is that you will learn to speak more clearly. A coach can teach you to enunciate your words for better understanding. If you are not sure how this could benefit you, consider these scenarios:
- You are speaking at a conference in another part of the country and you have a strong accent.
- You are talking with a client from another part of the world through a video meeting.
- You are training your staff in a seminar.
- You are doing a presentation of your product or service to potential clients or customers.
In each one of these situations, speaking clearly so that you can be understood can enhance your results. You will be more likely to convince customers to give your product a try or win over a current client on a new idea. You will be able to communicate with your staff how to implement a new procedure or teach others at a conference about your industry or business.
If you have a strong accent or poor enunciation skills, your audience may misunderstand what you are saying. The result could be lost sales or ineffective instructions to your staff. You could have a misunderstanding on how to proceed on a project because someone didn’t know what you said.
What Training Do You Need?
The kind of training will depend on your particular situation and the goals you have for your business. Perhaps you want to become a public speaker who can attend conferences around the country. Maybe you have a thick accent that you want to lose to communicate more effectively with clients in other parts of the country.
When you work with an accent coach, he or she will help you learn how to enunciate every word correctly. This will reduce the sound of your accent and make it easier for people to understand you. You can also learn how to understand other people’s accents. This could be an important trait to learn if you will be opening an office in another part of the country or internationally.
You may decide that members of your staff can benefit from this same training. If you have managers who work with people around the globe or if they will be setting up offices in other locations, they may need to learn how to speak well to be understood.
Effective communication is essential in today’s business world. While many think of written communication, spoken communication is just as important. Being heard and understood can have a significant impact on the bottom line on your business. As you work with people from around the world, you must learn how to speak effectively and clearly.
Claudette Roche is a dialect coach who teaches accent reduction in the Los Angeles area and virtually via Skype (The Accent Coach Website). She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.