Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Presenting in your 2nd language: My article for @Toastmasters

My latest article for Toastmaster, the official magazine of Toastmasters International, is now freely available to all. Presenting in your second language appears in the April 2014 issue. I'm excited that it's available to a wider audience, as I know this is a challenge for many readers of The Eloquent Woman.

For this article, I made use of the expert speechwriters and speaker coaches in the European Speechwriter Network and UK Speechwriters Guild, turning to colleagues in the UK, Belgium and Canada for insights into how they handle speaking or writing speeches when the delivery has to be in the speaker's second or third language. I also interviewed Toastmasters in Spain and in South Korea with interesting perspectives on speaking in a second language.

In the article, they offer advice on:

  • word choice, 
  • use of metaphors, 
  • the overall length of your speech in another language, 
  • playing to the strengths of the language in which you are speaking, 
  • paying attention to the sounds you're making, and 
  • ensuring your delivery helps you put your points across. 
There's also a sidebar on the benefits of bilingualism, a little incentive for speakers who are learning another language.

Not mentioned in the article is a new resource for those of you who wish to practice your speaking skills in English. SpellUp is a new experiment and game from Google: You use your voice to spell and play word games with it, as a practice tool. It works best with the Chrome browser and Android devices; iPhone and iPad users also can play, but will type instead of talking. Here's a short video about it. Enjoy these resources!