In the San Francisco Bay area, I have many clients whose first language is not English. When I work with them on enhancing their presentation skills, a common fear is either mispronouncing a word, or using the wrong word when explaining a concept.
I know there are some positions where one has to carefully select words, and that being precise is essential.
But, for many of us, I would ask …..is that really what your audiences want from you….to always say the right thing at the right time? To never mispronounce word?
Even if English is our first language, how many of us can achieve that?
Here is my advice.
First – be kind to yourself; mastering a language is difficult and public speaking can be scary.
Second – try this. When the right word is not coming to you, call it out. Say, “I am searching for a certain word, but it is escaping me.” You might discover that the audience is willing to help you find that word. Or, you can say, “I am not thinking of it, so let’s move on.”
Third – prepare. When practicing, make sure you select words you are comfortable saying.