Few skills make such a dramatic impact on the quality of your life as effective communication. At home. In the workplace. In daily life. When it comes to speaking, listening and presenting for impact…a little learning will bring you tremendous success.

In today’s workplace, professionals often rely on communication skills to bridge gaps in experience, culture, education, language and age. If you’re noticing that people don’t seem to trust you—because of your background, there are specific steps to take to be more approachable and credible.

In my trainings, I often work with people who speak English as a second language. These experts are brilliant people, including researchers, scientists. Most have advanced degrees. But due to English being the dominant language in business, people don’t listen to them. They don’t get the respect and recognition they deserve.

Do you ever feel this way?

In addition, many people on both ends of the age spectrum struggle with gaining trust and respect. Very young professionals struggle with commanding attention. Very experienced leaders worry about keeping up with new trends, norms and technologies.

As it turns out, there are 3 important rules that improve communication—instantly.

Rule 1. Make Yourself Comfortable
For many people, speaking English is challenging. You want to speak perfectly, have exceptional grammar and impress your audience. But there is one big problem.

Speaking to highly educated audiences, it is likely that someone will know an arcane rule of grammar. Someone will spot a bit of funky punctuation. Someone will have an insight into sentence structure that you don’t.

Let me tell you why I say this. I grew up speaking English. My mother majored in English. We were constantly corrected in daily conversation. And I never learned the formal rules. I just learned by hearing.

So, I’m underscoring a point here. There is a lot to learn. People who grew up speaking English don’t know all the rules…so you shouldn’t expect that you do either.

If you aren’t a native speaker, one of the fastest ways to make yourself comfortable is to introduce yourself. Let your audience know that English is your second language. And don’t worry. This is a very professional and acceptable thing to do.

You’ll feel more comfortable. And your audience will be more lenient, patient and forgiving.

Rule 2. State The Benefits
Connect the dots for your audience. Let them know that while English is not your first language, your research or findings are world altering.

While you must find a way to say this in your own words, here is a template that may help you get started.

Say something along the lines of, “English is not my first language. But this scientific research is my lifelong passion. Today I will share my findings…and you will never forget that this is the day you heard the invention that will change the world.”

Pick your own way of speaking. Emphasize the benefits of your presentation and the powerful impact of your research or topic.

Rule 3. Ask For Help
Invite your audience to do more than listen. Ask them to help you. While this may not be considered polite or professional in some cultures, in most settings in the United States, this is entirely acceptable.

Here’s an example:
“English is my second language. However, my research is my first passion. I need your help to get this invention out to people around the world. Please help me share this invention and save lives.”

Now, take a look at what you’ve done using these three rules. First, you broke the ice of trying to be perfect. You made yourself comfortable by stating the truth. Second, you inspired people by emphasizing the game-changing benefits of your topic. Third, you asked for help in getting your message out.

Adapt these 3 rules to your next presentation. Whether your presentation is this afternoon or next month, it only takes seconds to communicate more effectively.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/