The BBC called me this morning, asking me to do an interview, about accent softening, as Professor Sophie K Scott of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience part of University College London, has just published a report on how people’s career advancement, really is deeply enhanced by them neutralising their regional accent, in other words accent softening.
In my experience, this is so true.
Many people have gone on to the job of their dreams post studying accent softening with me, so I know this really works.
Observe anyone, who is very, very successful and you can understand – without any problems – what they are saying.
It doesn’t matter what their first language is, or where they are from, you will be able to understand every word.
Long gone are the days of Hollywood having the monopoly on films, when Dirk Bogarde in the well known film called Casablanca, could mumble away and at the speed of an automatic machine gun.
Clarity versus Class
And it’s nothing to do with class – the important thing is clarity.
What ever you do nowadays, your customers, clients, audience or students, are global.
Just like numerical digits need to be globally uniform, to be understood across countries’ borders and around the world so that everyone can recognise and understand them.
Whatever language medium you are using (eg Spanish, French or English) you need to make the optimum and so consequentially uniform sounds, for that language, if you want to be understood.
Luckily for us in the UK, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have pretty much made English & American English the most international language there is, so at least us Brits don’t have to learn a whole new grammar system like our international friends… but we do need to watch our clarity.
Clarity is a result of good diction, hitting those t’s, letting the n’s in the middle of words be heard and differentiating between a t and a d so that you aren’t talking about a baby horse (a colt) when you have a cold.
If your tongue sits in the wrong position to make this easy for you, try as you may, listening to great audio samples of wonderfully clear voices, it is very hard to make these necessary changes.
This is why I use diagrams and videos, because the only way you are going to truly go from a place of either not hitting your t’s, d’s and n’s or having to work really hard and sound slightly strained when you say them, is if you re-educate your mouth.
And that means changing the way your tongue, lips and jaw work.
But! This is all very possible and very easy – if rather repetitive. It really is like ballet for the mouth – you have to practice and do lots of excercises in front of a mirror and become obsessed with what your tongue is up to! 🙂
And if you click here you’ll find out that all of the above really is possible, from people who have done it! And… that accent softening really does change people’s income and so standard of living, for the better!