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Communication: Getting Time to Think

If you are working on your English pronunciation, you can practice as you speak everyday. However, it is very easy to go back to old habits when speaking. So you want to focus your mind on 1 or 2 pronunciation needs at a time. You might think of R and L sounds during one conversation. You might think of vowel sounds during another conversation. Sometimes, when people try to think of everything, they are frustrated. It can be very hard to do this in real time with another person waiting for you. So don't. Choose your English pronunciation focus.

As you speak, make sure you have time to think. It is better to speak slowly and clearly than quickly if you are working on one or more major sounds. Use the phrases below to help you stay focused. Every time you pause, remember your pronunciation focus. Becoming very good at pausing is a great communication skill. It helps a person in any career. In pronunciation work, it helps you think about sounds. It also helps anyone to avoid speaking unwisely. Tip: use phrases you can pronounce clearly. These should help you gain time, not cause more difficulty. 

If You Need Time to Think

Hold on …

Let's see …

Let me see …

Let me think …

I have to think …

I have to think about that one.

I have to think about that for a minute … o.k. …

Hold on—I'm a little tired today …

Wow, that's interesting.

Wow, what an interesting idea.

That's a very good question.

Hmmm. Let me organize my thoughts.

Well, I don't know. There are different issues involved.

Hmm, I have to think. There are several points to that issue.  Let's see …the first point …

Um, I'm not sure. There is more than one reason. I believe the most important reason is …

If You Know You Did Not Speak Clearly

Use these phrases to correct yourself if you think you did not speak well. These phrases can be used by anyone to make a correction. You can use them to make a pronunciation correction, and most likely, no one will know the difference.

Wait. Let me say that again.

Wait. I want to say that again.

Hold on. I should put my thoughts in order.

Hold on. I should organize my thoughts.

Wait. That's not quite what I meant. I meant to say …

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