Effective Ways to Improve English Speaking Confidence in Adults

Reading Time: 6 min

A man is speaking English confidently at a table

Lack of English Confidence VS. Improving Your English Skills

Do you feel nervous or anxious when you have to speak English in front of others?  Have you ever struggled to find the right words, pronounce them correctly, or express yourself clearly? Do you wish you could speak English with more confidence and fluency?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many adult English learners face similar challenges when it comes to speaking English.


Why Confidence Matters:

Confidence is the cornerstone of effective communication . It empowers you to express yourself with clarity, engage in meaningful conversations, and unlock new opportunities in both your personal and professional life. Let’s dive into the statistics and research that highlight the significance of confidence in English speaking.

Statistics and Research:

  1. According to a study conducted by the Monash University1, individuals who express confidence in their spoken English are more likely to be considered for promotions for secure and better jobs. This result underscores the vital role confidence plays in career advancement.
  2. A commentary from Center for Strategic and International Studies2 suggests that proficiency in English is a critical component of a successful modern society and is necessary for any country to fully benefit from global commerce. When you feel confident in your speaking abilities and use English skillfully, you are more likely to exhibit higher language competence.
  3. A survey conducted by Cambridge English3 found that many students measure their progress in language learning through their confidence to speak spontaneously in ‘real world’ situations. Despite the huge importance placed on speaking practice, only 50% of teachers feel confident that their students could cope well in an unplanned conversation in English.

How Can Adults Improve English Speaking Skills?

Don’t worry, there is hope! In this article, I will share with you some effective strategies that can help you confidently use your English in your communications. These strategies are based on scientific research, proven methods, and real-life success stories from my students and clients. By following these strategies, you will be able to:

– Overcome your fear of making mistakes

– Improve your pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar

– Communicate more effectively and persuasively

– Enjoy your English in any situation

 and ultimately improve your English speaking skills!

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Boost Your Confidence with These Strategies

Strategy 1: Positive Mindset

 Your thoughts affect your feelings, and your feelings affect your actions. A way to learn it is talking to yourself in a supportive and encouraging way, instead of criticizing or doubting yourself.

No matter what your English level is, if you think negatively about your English speaking ability, you will feel insecure and nervous, and you will perform poorly. It definitely affects your communication skills. But if you think the opposite, you will feel confident in speaking English. Cultivate a growth mindset and embrace your mistakes as opportunities for growth. Believe in your ability, inside or outside your English class.

How can you use positive self-talk? Here are some examples:

– Before speaking: “I can do this. I have prepared well (if you really have!). I have something valuable to say.”

– During speaking: “I am doing great. I am expressing myself clearly. I am connecting with my audience.”

– After speaking: “I did it. I spoke with confidence. I achieved my goal.”

 They subconsciously help you speak in a more self-assured way.

This way, you will train your mind to focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. You will also create a positive feedback loop that will reinforce your confidence and motivation.

A girl pointing at the sky for her confident English

Strategy 2: Practice Every Day

The second strategy is to practice regularly. This means use your English in your conversations as often as possible, preferably every day.

 Why is this important? Because speaking is a skill, like playing a musical instrument or driving a car. And the only way to improve a skill is to practice it. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will become.

 How can you practice speaking regularly? Here are some ideas:

 –  Find a serious partner: look for someone who is learning your native language, and exchange languages with them. You can use apps like Tandem to find language partners online.

Join a conversation group: look for social events or activities where you can meet other people who speak or want to learn English. You can join Ublearner’s practice groups or use websites like Facebook Groups to find meetups or clubs near you.

Real-Life Scenarios: Simulate real-life situations like job interviews or social gatherings to practice English in context. Talk to yourself about it in English as you go about your day. Record yourself speaking and then listen back and see what you can improve.

 – Professional Guidance: If you find it difficult to stay accountable with your practice, consider enrolling in a structured language program or working with a language coach who specializes in building confidence.

By practicing regularly, you will expose yourself to different situations and contexts where you can use your English, as well as developing your fluency, pronunciation, accuracy, and vocabulary.


Strategy 3: Authentic language exposure

This means listening to or reading real-world materials that are relevant and interesting to you.

Why is this important? Because it will help you improve your listening and reading comprehension, which are essential for speaking. You will also learn new words, phrases, and expressions that you can use in your own speech.

 How can you find them? Here are some suggestions:

 – Watch movies, TV shows, or videos in English: Choose genres that you like and use subtitles or captions if you need them. Netflix, YouTube, or TED are good to watch movies, TV shows, or videos in English.

– Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music in English: Choose topics that you are interested in. Apps like Spotify, Castbox, or Apple Podcasts are usually free. Also, you can listen to my podcast here.

– Read books, magazines, or blogs in English: Choose levels that are suitable for you, from beginner to advanced. You can use websites like Amazon, Medium, or BBC.

 It will help you immerse yourself in the culture and context of English, while enriching your knowledge and understanding of the world and the English language itself.
Authentic resources are the best way to teach you a lot about English grammar, particular vocabulary, and accents or different Englishes around the world. So, if you’re reluctant to practice your English with materials that are a bit challenging, take the plunge today! I promise that they are going help you think in English faster and take your English to a higher level.


Strategy 4: Following a clear structure adds to your English Speaking Confidence

This strategy is used to show off your language skills, by organizing your ideas and information in a logical and coherent way. Why is this important? Because following a clear structure will help you deliver your message more effectively and persuasively. You will also make it easier for your audience to follow and understand you.

Here are some tips:

 – Expand Your Vocabulary: Learning new words and phrases empowers you to express yourself with precision. Create a vocab-learning system for yourself by using flashcard apps or notebook dictionaries.

Use an introduction: start by greeting your audience, introducing yourself and your topic, and stating your main purpose or goal.

Use a body: develop your main points or arguments, using examples, evidence, or stories to support them. You can also use transitions or signposts to connect your ideas and guide your audience.

Use a conclusion or follow-up questions: end by restating your main purpose or goal, and inviting others to share their take on that, so the conversation can continue.

 By following a clear structure, you will create a strong impression on your audience. You will also boost your confidence and credibility as a speaker.


Strategy 5: Tell a story in English and take your audience on a journey

Engage and interact with your audience throughout your speech. This is important, because it will help you build rapport and trust with them and make your speech more memorable and enjoyable.

How can you do it?

– Questions: Ask questions to get feedback, opinions, or experiences from your audience. You can also use rhetorical questions to make them think or feel something.

– Stories: Tell stories to illustrate your points or arguments. You can use personal stories to share your challenges or successes or stories from other people to inspire or motivate your audience.

– Use humor: Use humor to lighten the mood, break the ice, or make a point. You can use jokes, anecdotes, or irony to make your audience laugh or smile.


Boosting your speaking confidence is not only achievable but also transformative.  By following these strategies, you will be able to overcome your fear of speaking English, improve your pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, communicate more effectively and persuasively, and enjoy speaking English in any situation.

Find Friends Who Want to Speak in English

If you want to learn more about these strategies and how to apply them in practice, I invite you to look into our Speaking Booster Program. There you will find more progress opportunities that will help you become a confident and fluent English speaker.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it useful and informative. If you did, please share it with others who might benefit from it. And don’t forget to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Remember: You are a confident and fluent English speaker. You just need to believe it and act on it.

Happy speaking!


1. English language proficiency and employment: A case study 

2. Center for Strategic and International Studies

3. Global Teaching Speaking Survey: The results


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