Case Studies

Feng

Feng was referred to me through his Human Resource department. With his vast experience and knowledge he was often asked to present to colleagues as well as clients. Although very confident of his data, he was misunderstood at times.

After a full audio and one to one assessment, we determined that speaking speed, sentence rhythm, word stress and swallowed syllables as well as select vowels and consonants were to be targeted. We used a 14-hour intensive face-to-face training format along with 12 hours of telephone coaching.

However, even the sound differences were not always consistent. Feng exhibited speech sound and speaking strengths that we used as catalysts to expedite his training. With these strengths identified, we then paired the strengths with sound struggles. This bolstered confidence and accelerated learning.

We also used commonly used professional words, phrases and targeted discussions for our practice. Some business and cultural social scripts were also integrated into the training to strengthen his relationships with colleagues.

For self-assessment in practice and training, Feng was trained to use AMG’s own six-point behavioral speech scoring system to determine his incremental gains in clarity. We also trained an “Accountability Partner “ within his firm to help him with his practice. We kept contact with Managers throughout the training for review and to give updates of the training.

At the end of training, Feng received three (3) hours a year of additional telephone and email support for the next three years. Through this I was able to help Feng strengthen and integrate his newly acquired speaking skills.

”Vijay”

Vijay initially recognized that he needed help to be understood.  With approval from his manager, his HR representative referred him to Accent Management Group, LLC.  Vijay was focused and determined to learn to speak to be understood by his American clients and colleagues.

Our first focus was to slow Vijay’s speech rate. His original language, Marwari, is spoken very quickly.  Vijay originally thought that since his colleagues seemed to speak quickly, (A usual perception when one’s English listening skills are not proficient, yet.) he needed to continue this practice.   And, as he did a recorded analysis of the speaking rates of different colleagues as well as himself, Vijay then began to understand how slowing down his speech rate was an absolute necessity for him to be able to analyze his own speech as well as be understood.

Vijay also learned how to do AMG’s Six-point Speech Behavioral Scoring System© to analyze his progress on each step of each goal that we established. From here, we established the timetable for each step of each goal.

One of Vijay’s goals was to become more capable of measuring and changing his own speaking skills and how to find mentors to help him do this on an ongoing basis. This strategy is also part of the Accent Management Group’s training system.  The first segment we did was to find and train supportive Accountability partners within his work environment that could listen and rate Vijay’s efforts on selected segments of each goal.

The second segment was to find an outside source of support for ongoing practice no matter where he worked.  Phyllis Thesier, founder and president of Accent Management Group, LLC, an active member of Toastmaster’s International for over 20 years, had designed a program to help any Toastmasters Club mentor and support their members who want to continue improving their English pronunciation and clarity.

Vijay and I found a Toastmaster’s club near his work, introduced him to the club and mentors, then introduced and trained the club mentors to help Vijay with each goal.

One primary goal was to improve Vijay’s ability to listen more specifically to understand exactly how North American English uses strategies such as  “linking”, syllable reduction and sound merging in running speech as opposed to single words.  Understanding these, he was better able to respond appropriately as well as slowly begin to incorporate these strategies into his own speaking patterns later on.

Vijay has since moved from individual contributor to a Senior Global Support Manager for a large international technical corporation.  He attributes this partly to his ability to being able to effectively convey his message and be readily understood …..the First Time.

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