Hey there! The other day I talked to you about the most important thing for your preparation which is beyond any kind of tips and strategies and you can read this post here. Today, however, I will focus on Speaking Tips. All the things you can do to help you along with your preparation and language learning: The Top 10 tips you will ever need to improve yourself in the speaking section! If you follow them consistently, you will definitely see your score raised. So, are you ready? Here we go!
Pronunciation is important. They do not expect you to talk like a native speaker–of course not–but you have to be clearly understood and you should pronounce the words correctly. Mispronouncing of words counts against you. If you can also talk like a native speaker by all means do it; that’s an extra bonus, but not a requirement.
2.) Be prepared
You are going to be nervous more or less. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you are going to be. Keep in mind that the examiners see lots of people everyday: they are tired, too. They are on your side not your enemy. Go in there and have a friendly conversation with confidence. If you make them forget that they examine you (which is the ideal), you will score higher.
There are no right or wrong questions. You just have to be able to understand what you are asked and talk about it giving your own opinion and/or arguments. They just want to see that you can communicate well and effectively in English and that you can justify and stand up for what you believe.
4.) Practice makes perfect
Answer questions on your own and practice a lot. Do NOT memorise answers by heart; they can understand that and it will count against you. Just practice answering the questions lots of times.
5.) Focus on what you know NOT on what you don’t
Gradually, the questions are going to be a little bit more challenging, especially in the last part. Earn some time to think by asking: “Could you repeat the question, please?” Most times, apart from a difficult word or phrase, the question is pretty simple so don’t get too overwhelmed. Even if they ask you: “What do you think about nuclear energy?” and you know nothing about it, you still know that nuclear energy is dangerous, right? So, base your answer on that. They do not expect you to be a scientist–just to talk in English.
6.) Think in English
I know it is not so easy but try to talk in English as much as possible. The worst thing you can do is to try to translate in your mind what you would say in your mother language. Avoid that at all costs! Be simple, but think in English. If you think in a language with a different syntax and more advanced vocabulary you will get stuck eventually and then you will forget what you started to say in the first place.
7.) Speak as you write
When you write there is introduction, main body, and conclusion. Keep that in mind in Speaking, too. Start with an opening phrase; state your opinion; and complete your thoughts with an ending phrase.
8.) Standard phrases
Learn standard connecting phrases to help you during your speaking, especially when you get stuck and you don’t know what else to say. You can find some of these useful phrases in the Speaking lessons here.
9.) You can lie
Examiners know nothing about you: nothing about your life or beliefs. And you know what? They don’t even care. All they care about is your English. So, it doesn’t matter if you lie just because it seems easier at some point or another. You can lie as much as you like, as long as your English is good; you are on topic; and you answer the question.
10.) Speak up!
You will be nervous but that doesn’t mean that you should be shy or make it difficult for the examiner to hear you. Your English may be excellent but what difference does it make if only dolphins can hear you? If the examiner can’t hear you, he will be annoyed because his job becomes harder. We don’t want that. Open your mouth; talk clearly; and speak up with confidence!
You can find speaking questions to practice for PART 1 in the e-books section here for free! What do you find difficult in Speaking? Tell me in the comments below!