WHAT does your language say about you? Do you present yourself well by usingproper grammar and pronunciation? Or could you be sabotaging yourself withouteven realising it?
Make this the year you improve the way you speak.Fine-tune the little things that make a big difference with these 10 languagetips.
1. Speak positively
Your language influences your thoughts just as much asyour thoughts influence your language. When you set your resolutions for theyear did you list, "Stop smoking" or "Breathe freely"? Make sure that you aresending yourself positive images with the language you use.
2. Practise tongue twisters
If you are concerned about the way you speak or the wayyou pronounce certain sounds, tongue twisters are a fun and easy way to beginmaking progress in the right direction.
A simple web search will giveyou lots of ideas. Practise saying the tongue twisters in front of the mirror soyou can see how your mouth moves to make the different sounds.
3. Set language goals
Whether you want to speak more clearly, correctly orconfidently, set goals for yourself. For example, if you want to improve yourvocabulary, set a goal to learn 10 new words per week (or whatever number youthink is fair).
The best way to improve your language skills and becomea better speaker and writer is to read - a lot. Choose magazines, books,newspapers and online resources that not only interest you, but also have goodEnglish language content. If you are only reading the tabloids, you are probablynot getting the best English input possible.
5. Observe good language models
Whether you are choosing something to read, or choosingwho and what you listen to, the most important thing is that the people youemulate need to speak English very well! Remember, practice doesn't make perfect- perfect practice does!
6. Playword games
Word games are a great way to keep your mindactive, build new vocabulary and increase creativity.
Solve a crosswordpuzzle, do a word search or choose one of the hundreds of different games thatyou can find on the Internet. Take a breather from your work and work out yourmind in a different way.
7. Beaware of body language
Don't forget the non-verbalmessages you send! Many people think of language and communication as what theysay, but what you do is even more important.
To show polite interest inwhat someone is saying, sit up straight, lean slightly towards the listener andhold comfortable eye contact.
Remember all the lessons your mothertaught you. Say, "Please" and "Thank you". Slow down in large crowds and say,"Excuse me", when you bump into people!
These may seem like little,unimportant things, but they say a lot about the type of person you are.
9. Proofread your work - everytime!
Do not write one letter, send one e-mail or submitone report without checking over your work. Look out for things like your use ofcommas and apostrophes, typos and spelling errors.
Nobody getseverything right on the first try. Assume there are errors and find them!
10. Don't use a long word where ashort one will do
This famous rule is one too many of usforget. Remember that communication is not a vocabulary contest.
Successful communication depends on people understanding your meaning.Use common words and phrases instead of over-inflated prose.
When itcomes to the way you speak, sometimes the smallest change can make the biggestimpact. Choose your favourite three tips and start implementing them today!