As you may know, there are some theories that English pronunciation is more
important than grammar, especially when giving a speech or any presentations in
English. Despite that you may be a non-native speaker, it is understandable that no
one expects your grammar to be perfect. People will tend to “cut your slack” (be
tolerant) if you make grammar mistakes whenever you speak and normally the
audience or hearers are interested in your ideas and your emotional energy. They
don’t care about your grammar as long as they can understand what you are
conveying and your meaning in your speech. Indeed, there are far too many non-
native English speakers worry excessively about their grammar when giving a
Some speakers actually write their entire speech, word for word and then have it
checked for grammar. Once the grammar is checked, they then try to memorise the
entire speech. Truly, this is a terrible method more so that memorised speeches
lacks energy. Can you imagine a politician giving a speech reading from a
teleprompter, it will most certainly sound dull despite being highly trained. They
often lack energy and spontaneity. Worse of all is when you try to memorise a
speech word for word, you are likely to fail and disappoint yourself. When you give
the speech, you will probably be nervous and at times feel stressed. You’ll worry
that you’ll forget part of the speech and you most probably will! Therefore if you do
forget something, you’ll become even more stressed, causing you to make even
more mistakes and you can cause yourself to be embarrassed in the midst of the
speech. The best speakers are those who speak naturally. They do plan their
presentations accordingly but they do not memorise them word for word. They will
try to speak in a conversational manner that encourage the hearers to listen
attentively instead of a tedious speech which normally drags on and on.
So don’t worry about your grammar when giving a speech. Bear in mind that what you
must focus on is your English pronunciation! The audience will understand and
forgive your grammar mistakes but they cannot tolerate terrible pronunciation. Why
not? Because they simply will not and cannot understand you if your pronunciation
is bad. If they don’t understand you, they will quickly become bored and annoyed.
While you don’t need a perfect American or British or Irish or even an Australian
accent, you do need to have clear and understandable English pronunciation.
This is one of the very essence of learning English. As you plan your speech, consider to
identify any words that are particularly difficult to pronounce. Find audios either on
the internet or from someone that speaks English such as your friends or family and
even your colleagues to help you for the correct pronunciation of each word.
Another possibility is you can listen to the audios daily and try to imitate the correct
pronunciation. Another good technique is to listen to speeches by native speakers,
ideally choose speeches related to your speech topic.
Effortless English Pronunciation Tracking Technique
Now try practising the “tracking” technique:
1) Play one sentence of the speech audio in whichever accent that you want to
learn. Pause the audio and try to listen to the speaker carefully and recall how the
speaker spoke in the audio. Then repeat for each sentence that you hear
2) The next day, “track” the speaker. Listen to the speaker and imitate the speaker
(speaking aloud) at the same time. This might be difficult for you but nevertheless
do the best you can. Keep applying the same concept several times a day with the
same audio. It will progressively be easier each time you do it.
3) After you have mastered steps 1) and 2) above, continue to practise your speech
out loud. Do consider to record yourself so that you may be able to hear your
pronunciations and the accent that you speak. Then, it would be advisable to listen
to the recording and notice any problems, words and phrases that you may
When the time comes to give your speech, forget about your grammar, vocabulary
and pronunciation. Just focus on your ideas and emotional energy and do your best
Keep practising daily until you are assured that your fluency in speech and
pronunciation is excellent, thereon you will become a successful public speaker. Enjoy!