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1 month ago

The Importance of Understanding Local Customs in Your Business

If you operate a business that sells products or provides services in other parts of the world, you need to be aware of the local culture. Whether you are meeting with people in person, over the phone or in a Skype conference, you should know something about customs and what is allowed and prohibited in conversation so that you don’t inadvertently offend someone.


Know the Language


Even if the person you are speaking with understands and speaks English, there will be cultural differences. For instance, it may be offensive to use certain terms that are considered normal in North America. In some countries, it is not permitted to call someone by their given name. Instead, you refer

to them by their last name.


Using slang, being too casual or overly familiar with people is often considered unprofessional. However, in some cultures, it is a bigger offense. Make yourself aware of potential mistakes before you speak with people from another country or region.

To avoid being misunderstood, which can also lead to problems in business communication, you should work with a speech coach. They can help you learn to enunciate clearly so you’ll be easily understood.


Consider Body Language


Many gestures and moves that are normal in North America are considered rude in other countries. For instance, the thumbs up sign is not a positive gesture in South America, Greece and other places. In many East Asian countries, it is impolite to use your left hand for a handshake or to take a piece of food or other item.


These and many other seemingly innocent gestures can put you in a bad light with people from another culture. If you travel for your company, you will want to know about these potential offenses before they happen.


What to Do After the Fact


If you say or do something that causes people to look at you funny, and someone leans over and quietly explains what you did that was offensive, you should immediately apologize. You don’t have to go into great detail about your faux pas, but it’s always important to acknowledge your mistake.


Most people in the business world will know you made an honest mistake, but your apology will show them that you have respect for them and their culture. Of course, preventing the mistake in the first place is the best way to make a good impression, so take the time to study the cultures where you will be traveling.


Learn what are signs of respect as well as what you should not do. This will help you be memorable in a positive way. Remember, you are not only representing yourself in these travels but your company. You want to leave a positive impression about your business and how it can be expected to treat people who are different. Just by being aware of other cultures and learning how to communicate, you can help establish your company as a professional entity that they want to do business with.


Claudette Roche is a accent training in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.


1 month ago

How Entrepreneurs Get People Excited

If you’ve ever watched an entrepreneur talk to others about their business idea, product or service, you soon notice that the people who are listening begin to get just as excited as the speaker. They are drawn in to what the person is saying, and it’s not long before they want buy the product, sign up for the service and be part of the business. So, how do entrepreneurs get people excited?


They Believe


No matter what an entrepreneur is trying to sell to potential customers, investors or others, they must first sell it to themselves. They are magnetic speakers because they believe in what they are saying. Sincerity goes a long way for any public speaker. If you don’t believe what you’re telling others, it will be obvious, and you’ll be labeled a fake.


They Know


Entrepreneurs believe in their product or service because they understand it. They know how it works, and what it can do. They even recognize potential problems and how to fix them. In spite of any possible flaws, they believe this product is worth what it costs and will do what it is supposed to. However, they have done their research so they can promote it whole-heartedly.


They Paint a Vivid Picture


The audience is captivated because the entrepreneur knows how to draw them in. They paint a vivid word picture of the problem that someone is having, and then explain in detail how their product or service can fix it. They speak clearly, with many of them having taken lessons with a business speech coach to ensure they are heard and understood. They know how to use the right words and what to say when with the right timing.


Anyone Can Do It


If you think these people were born with this ability, you’d be wrong. Many of them were not great speakers or charismatic in their regular life. In fact, some of them may even be introverts, shy and recluses who have learned what it takes to win people over.

While hiring a business speech coach can help you learn the mechanics of speaking to people, you must take it further. You must learn how to use the power of words to bring your audience in, whether it is one person or a room full of people.


You must know what you are trying to sell to other people, whether it’s a product, service or idea. You must believe what you are telling them, and know that your words are true as far as you are aware. People are good at spotting a fake, and they won’t be won over by smooth words if they aren’t sincere.

If you want to be one of those people who can gain new customers, new investors or to promote your product, you must learn how to get people excited. Be excited about it yourself because you understand what you’re promoting and you believe in it. Follow these steps and you’ll discover that you have people who are avid fans of whatever you’re selling.


Claudette Roche is a accent reduction in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.

2 months ago

Why Social Networks Increase Public Speaking Anxiety

The fear of speaking in public isn’t anything new. People with this fear have always had to deal with the sweaty palms, racing heart and dry mouth. However, modern society may be making it even more difficult to manage and to allow the people the opportunity to overcome their fears.


Reduced Interaction


People don’t have to spend as much time talking to others face-to-face in any situation, much less in groups. Instead of calling someone or going to their office, you can merely send an email. Even when dealing with customer service about an issue, people have the option to message or chat online rather than speaking over the phone.


What’s the difference, you may ask. With an email or chat message, you still have time to think about what you want to say and even delete what you’re typing and start over before you hit Send. In a phone call or in-person meeting, you don’t have that option. You’re more likely to make a mistake, which is one of the main fears for people with public speaking anxiety.


A New Workforce


The workforce of today is much different from years past. More people are working from home, linking in online only when necessary. They are more isolated from co-workers and others in their business circle. While they may be more productive in this new environment, they lose out on socialization. The result is people who can do their jobs but not handle interaction as well.


Web conferences and conference phone calls have also reduced the amount of in-person interaction. Often, you don’t even see the other people when you are involved in a group call. A person may feel freer to speak because they don’t have a bunch of faces to look at. While this type of interaction does provide some benefit for those who are anxious in public, it doesn’t help them deal with their issue.


Can Anxiety of Public Speaking be Overcome?


While the need for public speaking may be reduced in many scenarios, it will never go away. Anyone who has to deal with this fear needs to work on their problem rather than trying to avoid it. Hiring a business speech coach is one way to help a person feel more confident in their ability to speak. The business accent coach can help them enunciate better and speak more clearly, so they are more self-assured when they have to speak with others.


A person who battles this anxiety must work to find ways to be exposed to speaking in front of others. Otherwise, their fear will grow larger rather than subsiding. When they are called upon to speak up, they will literally be unable to do so. Avoiding a fear doesn’t make it go away; it only makes it bigger.

Instead of hiding behind the anonymity of working online or at home, a person must continue to look for ways to develop confidence in their ability to speak in front of others.


Claudette Roche is accent training in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.


3 months ago

3 Tips to Turn You into an Amazing Public Speaker

You sit on the edge of your seat as the person at the podium describes a harrowing experience in vivid detail. They pause at just the right moments, increasing your anticipation until you reach the end of their speech and you’ve learned the moral or objective of what they had to say. Time passes by unnoticed because you can’t wait for the next word from this amazing speaker. As you sit back in your seat when it’s all over, you wish you could captivate an audience the same way.



Learned not Born with It



Most speakers who can captivate an audience weren’t born that way. They probably had some boring speeches that put their listeners to sleep. The difference between them and the average speaker is they kept learning and trying new things.



You’d be surprised to find out how many public speakers consider themselves shy or introverted. However, they overcome that tendency to develop into a powerful speaker that people want to listen to. So, tip number one is be willing to learn and try something different when you get in front of a crowd.



Be a Storyteller



Regardless of your subject matter, you can capture your audience’s attention with a story. If you’re selling vacuums, tell about the time when you had a bad spill you had to clean up. Any topic can be turned into a story that people will relate to and enjoy.

Like public speaking, storytelling is a learned skill. You create the sequence of events and add in sensory details to make listeners feel like they are there. Don’t hurry through the story to get to the end, but let it build anticipation until you reach the climax. Use storytelling to create interest in the real topic of your speech.



Speak Clearly



One of the most basic principles of public speaking and one of the most overlooked is speaking clearly. You want your audience to understand what you’re saying or they will tune you out. Speak slowly enough to be understood rather than hurrying through your words. Pause regularly so the listeners can keep up.



Learn how to enunciate your words if you have a tendency to mumble. You can hire a business speech coach to help you develop proper speaking skills. They can analyze your current skills and tell you where you need to improve. Someone with a heavy accent will need to work with an accent reduction coach to develop the ability to speak clearly. Also, avoid slang unless you know your audience will understand it. Even then, use it sparingly and make sure you still sound professional.



Becoming a top public speaker isn’t something that happens overnight. Instead, you must work to improve your skills and develop confidence. A person who feels confident in front of a crowd has an edge because their listeners will buy into that confidence. Just remember, amazing speakers learned how to amaze their listeners, and you can, too.



Claudette Roche is an accent reduction in the Vero Beach, FL area.  She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.

4 months ago

How to Determine Your Effectiveness at Communication

People who are good communicators get things done. They accomplish more and they inspire others. These people waste less time fixing mistakes or dealing with delays. Why? Because they know how to communicate.


These communicators may have a natural talent or they may have hired a good business speech coach. Regardless, they have learned the skills necessary to get their message across. How do you know if you are an effective communicator?


1. People trust you.


A person who communicates well is trusted. Even if the message isn’t one they want to hear, they trust its truth. They trust the person is being honest, someone they can rely on. If people follow you into new or unpleasant territory and listen to your instructions, you know you have communicated effectively with them.


2. You initiate conversation.


Communication isn’t just a speech or a one-way conversation. Instead, it is two or five or ten people talking, each one with something to say. To know if you are a good communicator, you must be a good conversationalist. To determine if this is the case, listen to yourself speak. Do you ask questions? If you ask questions when you talk to others, it implies that you value their input.


Someone who communicates effectively understands that communicating is not just talking but listening. They listen to what others have to say, and then think on it to incorporate those ideas into their own. This teaches other people that they have worth and their opinions and views have value, so they are more likely to listen to the person.


3. The focus is on simplicity.


Many people think that communicating means being able to express complex concepts to people under their leadership. However, the best way to speak to staff members or others is by keeping it simple. People trust what they understand, so it’s important to speak their language. A straightforward message will go further than one that is too complicated.

4. Be tactful.


A person who is effective at communicating gets people to listen to what they have to say. One way to defeat that purpose is by saying things in a tactless or arrogant way. Be sensitive to using words and phrases that provide a positive perception.


5. Don’t be afraid of emotions.


A person who can communicate well with others doesn’t discount emotions. It’s not just about what they say, but how they say it and how others hear it. They take into account how their words will impact others, and make their delivery based on that information. The person may be excited about changes coming to the department, but they also understand that others may be fearful. So, rather than being overly enthusiast, they take the time to dispel fears and concerns.


Being an effective communicator means more than just being able to talk to others. You must think about how you present your message, when, and why. You must think of the listeners to ensure they not only hear your words, but understand your meaning and follow up with the right response.


Claudette Roche is a dialect coach in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.

4 months ago

3 Ways to Improve Your Communications Skills

Regardless of whether you are an entry-level employee, department supervisor or a high-level executive, your ability to communicate will impact your career. If you hope to reach certain goals, get a promotion or take your career to the next level, you will have to be able to communicate effectively with co-workers, staff members, customers and others. Here are three ways you can learn how to be a better communicator.


1. Hire a Business Speech Coach


Many people think a business speech coach is only for those who speak in public, but they can help anyone in the business world. A speech reduction coach teaches people how to speak more clearly and reduce their accent, which can be distracting. The coach also teaches you other aspects of effective communication.


You need to determine your goals and search for a speech coach who can help you meet those goals. For some, it will be to lose their heavy accent and be more easily understood by clients. For others, it will be to speak with confidence. The goals may be unique but a qualified coach can help you achieve them.


2. Take a Business Communications Class


There are online and in-person classes that teach business communications. These classes will teach the basics or focus on one aspect. Perhaps you need to learn about written communications or how to speak in public. You can learn how to speak in group meetings, how to talk to difficult employees or how to handle unhappy customers.


Communications impact every aspect of a business, so it’s easy to understand why this is such an important topic. You’ll find a class on any aspect of communicating. Choose one that meets your needs and fits in your schedule.


3. Seek Advice


Find people who are well-known for their communications skills and ask their advice. Find out how they handle various situations. Ask for tips on dealing with customers, co-workers or even bosses. Listen to people speak and pay attention to what they say and how they say it.


The person you seek out may be a public speaker or it may be someone from within your organization. Look for those who are well-respected for their communications skills and discover their secrets. As you spend more time around these people, you’ll pick up their habits.


No matter how much you learn about communicating with others, you’ll never get good at it unless you practice. Pay attention to what you say or write, and try to make every word your best. Think before you speak and figure out how to best communicate your words to others.


Being a good communicator doesn’t always come naturally. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned. You can develop your ability to speak effectively no matter your job. Try one or all three of these methods and watch your level of communication soar. You just might rate a promotion, an award or other acknowledgment on your improvement in communicating.


Claudette Roche is a dialect coach in the Vero Beach, FL area.  She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.

5 months ago

Tips for Your Web Conference



As more businesses expand their customer and employee base beyond their own physical location, online interaction and web conferences become the norm for communication. Here are a few tips on how you can make your web conference more successful, whether you are meeting with distance employees, independent contractors, partners or customers.


Before the Conference Call


Get familiar with the equipment you will be using for your conference call. If possible, practice setting up the call with staff in your office. That way, you will be less apt to drop a caller or have other issues common with first-time use.


Know what equipment or programs you are going to use. Some conference programs allow you to share your computer screen and enable others to type questions or responses as you are speaking. Know what features are available and how to use them.


Choose a leader for the call, and create an itinerary. Follow the schedule and provide a copy to everyone ahead of time so they know what to expect. Consider recording the call in case someone is unable to make the appointment.


During the Call


Adjust your camera so you can be seen. Make sure you don’t go off-camera when you’re talking. Use a headset with a microphone, which will help eliminate outside noise. Silence phones and other sounds to prevent distractions.


Have others mute their microphones when they aren’t speaking to reduce noise. Close blinds, which may interfere with lighting or cause a glare. Wear clothing that is not too bright or dark so you can easily be seen. Look into the camera when you’re talking. Speak clearly and not too fast. If you have an accent, you may even want to invest in a business speech reduction coach to help you enunciate without relying on your accent. This ensures that people from other regions or countries can understand you with no



Don’t speak too loudly or too softly. You should try for a natural tone that others can hear without needing words to be repeated. Ask throughout the conference if everyone understands what you’re saying or if they need something repeated.

If others will be speaking, make sure everyone takes a turn with no interruptions. Avoid talking over others, so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding.


After the Call


Once the call is complete, send a copy of the main points of the conversation in email to each participant. Ask for feedback about what they liked and what could be improved. Review the feedback so you can make changes for the next call. It may be the time of day or issues with the technology as well as the points presented in the call. Use all feedback to make the next web conference call even better.


Thanks to modern technology, you can conduct business from anywhere and not have to travel to different locations. Use this technology to enhance your business, but understanding how it works and what participants need to benefit from the conference calls.


Claudette Roche is an accent reduction in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.