i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Fluent Speaking

Building Confidence in Speaking

We all know the benefits of speaking a second or third language, such as creating international connections and increasing our communication skills. But what if we lack the confidence to practise our skills? How can we improve if we feel too embarrassed to even try?

There are plenty of ways to build confidence! Try these tips to find the ones that work for you:

Breathe and slow down

It’s quite normal to feel nervous. Taking a breath before you speak can help you think about what you are going to say next. Slowing down will also make you feel calmer, allowing you to speak more confidently. Remember, you don’t have to rush to answer – give yourself the opportunity to find the right words.

Use confident body language

Many studies have shown that smiling has a positive impact on people’s moods, making them feel happier and calmer. Making eye contact can also boost confidence as someone will be interested in what you have to say.

Be okay with making mistakes

Nobody likes to feel embarrassed, but fear of making mistakes is a big barrier to practising our speaking skills. Accept mistakes as a natural part of learning and learn to overcome your fear – in fact, making mistakes is the best way to remember what not to do or say the next time we are having a conversation!

Practice makes perfect

A great way to practise is in low-pressure situations. This can mean speaking to yourself (in the mirror, for example) or a casual conversation with a friend. Many non-native speakers also feel comfortable with other non-native speakers as they are going through the same learning process and will be sympathetics if you get anything wrong.

Congratulate yourself

Celebrate your successes, however small. Take note of the things that you already do well in English – you could even make a list. Paying attention to these successes will make you feel more confident in your abilities as you continue to learn.


Our Global Speaking Passport classes make speaking English fun. Learn about new places around the world, share interesting facts, and talk with confidence. Good luck and speak up!