5 Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker



I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

Are you ready to become a confident English speaker?

Let's talk about it.

I have a question for you.

What would your life be like if you spoke better English?

Think about it for a moment.

Would you be able to travel more easily, to get a better job, make friends around the

world, watch movies and TV shows without subtitles?

Speaking English well can definitely change your life, but how can you become a confident

English speaker?

Do you need to be born with a special skill or have a lot of money?

I have a theory that anyone can become a confident English speaker if you follow these five simple


The steps are simple, but it doesn't mean that it's easy.

You can't sit back and do nothing.

Learning a language takes a lot of hard work, but with these five steps you can make sure

that you're not wasting your time and you're actually enjoying learning English.

Before we get started, I want to give you a free gift.

Today's English lesson is based on my ebook, 5 Steps to Becoming A Confident English Speaker.

Over 500,000 English learners around the world have downloaded this free ebook and I hope

that you can too.

In this ebook, I explain all of the steps we're about to talk about today in this video,

plus I give you a lot of websites, apps, tips and links so that you can follow through and

actually use these five steps.

I recommend downloading the free ebook up here, or the links in the description and

also listen to the audio version so that you can hear and see at the same time and join

half a million other English learners around the world who have enjoyed this free ebook,

found confidence and fluency in English.

All right.

Let's get started.

Step number one, open your mind to new ways of learning English.

Think about your English learning history.

If you had your first English class when you were 10 years old and you had one English

class per week for the next eight years, that's about 300 hours of English class.

That's a lot of hours spent repeating, memorizing, learning about grammar rules, but how many

of those hours were actually spent speaking?

Just repeating and memorizing without speaking is a really frustrating way to learn English.

So now you have realized this old method doesn't work.

It's time to turn the page and start something new.

So that's why you're here, to open your mind to new ways of learning.

Closed-minded people think that if the old way of learning English didn't work, then

other methods aren't going to work too, but you're not closed-minded, right?

You're open-minded.

If going to an English class with 20 other people, where the teacher just speaks at you

all day isn't working, then stop going.

In almost every country, there are people who can speak English confidently and fluently.

Does that mean that they have a lot of money, they have a special skill?


That just means that they were open-minded about trying new methods.

When you try new methods, you are stepping away from memorizing, stepping away from textbooks,

stepping away from school.

Now maybe you're thinking, what are some new methods that I can use?

I know that the old method doesn't work because that's why I'm here, but what are some new

methods you can use?

Well, I want to take a note from Timothy Doner.

He's an American teenager who taught himself 20 languages.

Wow, that's amazing.

He said that the best way to learn a language is to listen to anything and everything, podcasts,

radio, TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, music, anything.

And the good news is that's fun stuff.

As children, we listened to our parents speak daily, again and again, and after a while

you became a confident, fluent speaker of your native language.

So our brains are naturally inclined to learn language through listening.

What are some good ways that you can listen to English?

Well when you download my free ebook, I give you a list of a lot of different resources

that you can use to get started listening to English now.

Let's go to step number two.

Step number two for becoming a confident English speaker, relax.

Don't stress.

Do you feel stressed about having conversations in English?

Do you feel stressed when you can't understand what someone's saying in a TV show?

Let's talk a little bit about stress in general.

It's scientifically proven that when you feel stress, the creative parts of your brain shut


Shut down means stop working.

That's not good.

So we need to get rid of stress so that your creative center in your brain can open up

again and you can continue learning.

If you want to become a fluent English speaker, you might feel like this is such a huge activity

and it's true.

It is huge.

You might feel like you don't have enough time for it.

Well I want to tell you that, yes, learning a new language is a lot of work, but it doesn't

have to be stressful.

Maybe you're saying this is a huge project that's probably going to take years and years.

How can I not feel stressed about learning English?

My question for you is how do you make anything less stressful?

Well, you need to break it down into bite-sized chunks.

What is bite-size chunks?

What does that expression mean?

That means that you will follow simple steps.

You don't eat the whole cake, instead you just eat bite-sized amounts, bite-sized chunks.

So when you have simple steps to follow, it makes it a lot easier and a lot less stressful

to reach your goals.

Don't say, "I'm going to improve my English."

This is way too general and you can often feel stressed because how do you know if you're

actually reaching that goal?

Instead, you can say something specific like, "This week I'm going to listen to English

for 10 minutes every day."


This is specific.

This is a bite-sized chunk that you can achieve.

You can know that you're achieving it and you can feel less stress.


So now that you've decided to learn English in bite-size chunks, the next question is

how do you find time to learn English in bite-size chunks?

For some of you, simply thinking about finding free time in your day might make you feel


So I want to give you some examples about how I incorporate learning my second language,

which is French, into my daily life without feeling stress.

My goal for learning French is to become familiar with a lot of natural expressions and vocabulary

so that I can use them in my conversations and so that I can understand them when I listen

to podcasts or movies or TV shows.

So I want to tell you about three times of day that work for me to incorporate French

naturally into my daily routine without stress and maybe that will work the same for you

with English.

Number one, you could listen to English music while you make or eat breakfast.

For me, I like to listen to French music when I'm eating breakfast because it gives me some

boost of energy in the morning.

If I don't feel like listening to the lyrics, maybe my brain's too tired, I'm still listening

to the rhythm and the flow of another language.

So you can do the same with English.

Have a playlist of songs that you like to listen to and when you wake up in the morning,

as you're cooking or eating breakfast, just listen to them.

Start to immerse yourself in English.

Number two, you could listen to a 15 minute podcast while you're driving.

For me, I like to listen to these kind of short French podcasts, about 15 minutes, while

I'm driving because I often don't drive for more than 15 minutes, but it's a convenient

time to use that free time for learning French and I hope that you can do the same as well.

Number three, you could listen to a five minute YouTube video in English while you're eating


For me, after my child has gone down to take a nap in the afternoon, I often watch a five

minute French video and it just helps me to continue to learn French, but also it helps

me feel like I'm doing something for myself.

If you're a parent, you're probably giving a lot of your time and energy all the time

and it's nice to do something for yourself.

So when there is a small, quiet, moment, spend five minutes to enjoy an English video and

enjoy what they're learning.

You don't need to have hard study at that time, but it's just another chance to immerse

yourself in English and easily fit it into your daily life without stress.

Of course, I don't do all three of these things every day, but I try to do at least one of


So I want to know for you when is one time that you can easily fit English into your

daily routine without changing a whole lot?

You're just easily fitting it into your life.

All right.

Let's go on to step number three for becoming a confident English speaker and it is study

interesting information.

Yeah, it's that simple.

Most of us experienced incredibly boring language classes in middle school and high school and

when something is boring it's almost impossible to remember what you have learned.

So now we need to try a new method, which is finding an studying interesting information.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Do you like to bake cookies?

Do you like to get together with friends?

Do you like to watch TV shows?

I challenge you to try to incorporate those activities in English.

Let me give you a personal example.

I love learning about other cultures, so I often watch YouTube videos of people talking

about their travels in French.

When French people travel around the world and make a video about the different cultures,

this is a perfect mix of my interests.

I'm learning more about French and I'm also learning more about culture.

I get a lot of energy from music, so I try to listen to a lot of French music and this

is a great way to mix my interest in music, getting energy from music and also the second


I love meeting with new people and getting to know them, so in my city, every other week,

I go to a French meetup and there's about 15 people who meetup in a restaurant or a

café and we just chat together in French.

It's nothing formal.

It's just a great time to meet with people, which is something that I like to do and also

talk with them in French.

So it's a mixing of those interests.

If you like animals, watch animal documentaries in English.

If you like watching soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, you can watch

a soccer broadcast in English.

By doing the things that are already interesting to you, you can easily learn without feeling


Except for going to the meetup group in the city, a lot of these tips have been passive


You're listening.

You're watching.

Well, how can we be a little bit more active?

Let's go on to tip number four.

Step number four for becoming a confident English speaker is start speaking today.

Don't wait.

You may think that your English level is too low to begin speaking, but today I'd like

to give you some tips so that you can start speaking today, no matter what your level


This is one of the most important steps.

Have you ever thought, "Oh, if I speak with a native English speaker and my level is too

low, they're not going to understand me.

I'm not going to understand them."

Well, we need to overcome this myth, overcome this idea and instead try a new method, which

is starting to speak no matter what your level is.

I want to tell you a personal story about my experience learning other languages.

I already mentioned that I've successfully learned French and I will continue to be a

lifelong learner of French.

Well, that wasn't the first language that I tried to learn after English.

I'd taken Spanish classes throughout high school and college, but you know what?

I wasn't a fluent Spanish speaker.

In classes, we spent a lot of time memorizing verb conjugations, listening to some unnatural

textbook conversations, but never actually speaking out loud.

I had rarely heard my own voice using Spanish, so when it came time to have a speaking exam,

I felt utterly terrified.

I tried to memorize some sentences and guess what the teacher might ask me and then I said

those sentences and I didn't know what else to say.

This was a really embarrassing situation because I'd been studying Spanish for a long time,

so why didn't I know what to say?

Well I was learning in that traditional way and I wasn't starting to speak from the very


What could I have done differently?

Well I wasn't open minded to new methods.

I was simply just studying the textbook and following whatever the teacher said.

I wasn't internally motivated to try other methods.

I was pretty stressed about my Spanish exams.

That's all that I could think about, so I had never actually felt relaxed while I was

studying and I was just studying the boring textbook that my university told me to study.

I never enjoyed Spanish material before because I just used whatever the school gave me.

I was learning language completely wrong.

So I thought maybe there's a problem with Spanish.

Maybe my brain just doesn't learn Spanish well.

So I made a big change and dropped Spanish and decided to learn French.

But do you know what the truth is, there's nothing wrong with Spanish.

There was nothing wrong with Spanish in my brain, but there was a problem with the way

that I was studying Spanish.

After a few months in my new French class, I realized the other students just don't really

care about learning French.

They didn't really answer the questions.

They were just sitting there, looking kind of bored, but I really wanted to learn.

I had an internal motivation to learn French.

And something sparked inside of me where I realized I'm just repeating the same things

that I did with Spanish.

I need to make a huge change.

I need to learn with new methods.

So I decided to quit the class.

It was a big step, but do you know what?

It was the best decision I could have ever made.

I asked the teacher, "When you have your office hours, can I meet with you and just talk in


I knew nothing in French.

Every time that I talked with her, she would say things to me in French, I would try to

say things back to her.

She'd write down some notes for me and really, it was such a slow conversation, but it didn't


I was starting to speak from the very beginning.

Speaking one-on-one with the French teacher helped me to feel confident and passionate

about learning French.

Every time that I went into her office, she would ask me, "[French 00:15:21]."

What are you going to do this weekend?

I didn't know how to respond.

I didn't know how to explain what I was saying, so I would say to her, "How do you say I'm

going to a concert?"

And she would tell me how to say I'm going to a concert in French.

Don't you see how low my level was?

But it didn't matter, I was listening to her speak to me and I felt passionate.

I felt so interested in improving.

In my old Spanish classes, I never got a chance to speak, but here I had already quit my French

class and I was still speaking.

So because of this, I felt interested.

I felt excited.

I felt passionate because I was trying to use it as best as I could.

After speaking with the French teacher for a few months, I improved so quickly.

I improved so much more quickly than I ever had in years of Spanish classes in the classroom.

I felt ready when I moved to France after graduation.

So what about you?

How can you start speaking today?

I want to give you two tips.

The first one is simply to read an article out loud in English.

When you hear your own voice using English, it's going to be a good stepping stone to

helping you feel more comfortable and confident because that's your voice using wonderful

English sentences.

Even though you didn't create those sentences, you're still using English and speaking out


My second tip is to speak with someone else in English.

This could be another English learner.

It doesn't matter.

As long as you're speaking with someone else, you'll have a chance to use it and feel like,

"I'm doing this.

I'm progressing.

I'm improving."

If you aren't sure who to start speaking with, I offer and English course called The Fearless

Fluency Club and in this course, a lot of English learners meet together and speak on

Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger.

They meet and speak together even though their English is not extremely advanced.

It doesn't matter the level, they're still speaking.

And that is tip number four, to start speaking today with no excuses.

The fifth step for becoming a confident English speaker is to learn a little every day.

I can imagine you're a busy person, right?

Everyone's busy these days.

So I want to help you learn why it's important to learn English every day.

If you only listen and use English materials once a month or on the weekends, it's going

to be much harder to remember what you've learned and you don't want to waste your time

learning the same things over and over again.

So when you learn a little by little, every day, it's going to be easier to remember.

Let's imagine this situation.

You wake up six AM.

You get ready to go to work.

You get your kids ready in the morning.

You come home at six PM.

You eat some dinner, sit on the couch for a moment, relax.

You're about to go to bed and you realize, "Oh, no.

I didn't study English today."

Has this ever happened to you?

This kind of busy lifestyle can be quite stressful and it can be difficult to find time to fit

English into your daily life.

But just like we talked about with tip number two, it is important to relax and not feel

stressed when you're learning English.

So you fit it into your daily life with bite-sized chunks.

Experts say that if you do something for 30 days, it will become a habit.

So just like you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, I hope, and get ready for the

day, you do those things without thinking.

It's just part of your daily routine.

It's a habit.

I want you to be able to use English as a habit.

How can you make English a habit so that you do it a little bu little every day?

First of all, we need to learn in bite-sized chunks like we talked about.

Don't choose too big of activities.

Choose something that you can fit into your daily life.

And number two, you need to choose the same time that you can study for 30 days.

After 30 days, you will create a habit and this will be something that will be much easier

to incorporate into your daily life.

A specific time that you might choose to learn English could be while you're eating breakfast,

while you have a lunch break, while your child is taking a nap.

When you have a specific time, every day, that you study English, you're creating a

habit and you'll have to think about it less because it will just be naturally incorporated

into your day.

If you aren't sure where to start, you can check out the course that I mentioned, The

Fearless Fluency Club.

I will give you lesson set each month that include new vocabulary, new phrases, new phrasal

verbs, pronunciation that will help you to sound more natural.

And you'll be able to meet with other English learners as well, so that you'll never be

at a loss for what English material to study.

You'll always have interesting material that you can use to fit into your daily life, ever


Let's review these 5 Steps For Becoming A Confident English Speaker.

I want you to say each step out loud with me.

Exercise those speaking muscles.

Speak out loud.

Listen you your own voice.

You're starting speaking today because you're speaking and saying these sentences out loud

and I hope that it will help you to remember them as well.


Let's say them together.

Number one, open your mind to new ways of learning English.

Number two, relax.

Don't stress.

Number three, study interesting information.

Number four, start speaking English today.

Number five, learn a little every day.

Do you remember the question that I asked you at the beginning of this lesson?

I want you to write a comment and let me know how would your life be different if you spoke

better English?

Let me know in the comments.

I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

Make sure that you follow these five steps so that you can become a confident English


Thanks so much for learning English with me and I'll see you again next Friday for a new

lesson, here on my YouTube channel.


The next step is to download my free ebook, 5 Steps To Becoming A Confident English Speaker.

You'll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.

Thanks so much.


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