How to Overcome Hesitation in Speaking English?

Do you panic speaking in English because you worry your friends will make fun of you, what others would say about your mistakes?

Do you fear speaking in English in front of others as yours is not better theirs?

If yes, read on.

Why should you caution about this?

Stephen Krashen, the professor, retired at the University of Southern California and a philologist with lots of work in the field of second-language accession, points out that effective sieve (factors such as hesitation, the fright of making mistakes, and mood that influence language acquisition) inhibits our ability to acquire the second language. We know this instinctively, don’t we?

These factors hinder – and in many cases, throttle entirely – your ability to speak well.

Gather Information Regarding Basic English Skills and become proficient in the language and speak fluently with confidence. Try the Tips over here and Improve your English Writing and Speaking Skills.

Hesitation due to lack of knowledge

You cannot speak about something you do not know. You also cannot use a method you don’t understand. Likely, if you are asked to speak about something that you do not have much information about, hence you will not be able to talk well.

Similarly, if you lack primary knowledge of grammar or your vocabulary is very specific, or you have an insufficient reach to English, you will hesitate.

Hesitation due to absence of skills

There is another shape of hesitation, too – one that happens due to the absence of skills.

Whenever you feel like you should write good English and read and appreciate it but hesitate to speak, that’s because you have insufficiency speaking skills. Whenever you feel like you know entirely about something but still hesitate to do it, then that hesitation is caused by a lack of skills.

How to Remove Hesitation While Speaking in English

Now how do you remove hesitation? It is simple enough. We summarise success strategies for hesitation elimination as follows. Back yourself up and perform to the following plan, and you will see your hesitation rupture and then slowly disappear. Building better English speaking skills without hesitation is a life long aim – you need to keep sharpening the edge, though, with the combination of the approaches given below, you will be able to quickly achieve a dramatic reduction in your hesitation and also be on your way to the condition of fluent and confident English for life.

Every one of you needs the long term solution. Those of you who have an important interview coming up or an important client meet should also take up short term perspective along with the long term one.

A Quick Trick to defeat Hesitation

Long term solution is like Yoga. If you do pranayam every day, you’ll live longer and healthier. Similarly, if you exercise English speaking with a partner, friend, colleague or a trainer every day – it will build your confidence in the concrete foundation.

But, what if you have a headache right now? Yoga won’t be of great help. What you need is medicine.

And medicine for English speaking headaches is to say, “To do away with grammar”.

Yes, you heard it correct.

Stop bothering about your grammatical mistakes and speak whether you are speaking right or wrong.

Would others notice? Most probably, yes, but not as much as you consider they would.

Would they think you are insane? No. They would think that your spoken English capability is not absolutely perfect. And this is not a heinous crime if you are an Indian and English is only your second prioritised language.

Would they laugh hysterically at you? Not at all until you are a class IV schoolboy talking to other class IV schoolboys.

Would it cost you a job or even a promotion? No, it would be better than not speaking anything till you can speak correctly.

Even in jobs that need English speaking, your hesitation will cost you a job. Your wrong English will only benefit you.

I know it sounds demented, but it is true.

When you hesitate, the boss may think, “This guy cannot speak properly”. Period

When you speak incorrect English, the boss thinks, “This guy can speak English, and this guy tries”. Perfect.

Another impression you instinctively give when you utter wrong English is, “Well, I am sure this guy is trying difficult to improve his English. Otherwise, he too would hesitate like most others”.

There, that’s one more plus score to you.

It’s like what is better – leaving the answer sheet blank or writing a partially correct answer?

You knew the smarter option when you were a school kid writing class IV exams. You got to apply the same wisdom here, now that you are a grown-up.

Lack of Training: –

Even though you have got trained from seasoned professionals, but still you may lack the actual pace of training. It is essential to have enough skills that will help you to speak confidently.

Here are the four vivid ways you can overcome your hesitation to utter in English:

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes

You can’t get fluency in a language without making mistakes. They’re an integral part of the process. Period.

Here are the experiences of a few language learners and teachers:

Benny Lewis: he speaks ten languages

Benny Lewis considers perfectionism as the enemy of any learning language. To quote him:

When we speak a language, we are such perfectionists, we want everything to be just right, and perfectionism is a terrible thing in language learning.

It’s okay to make mistakes. And I have an aim to make at least 200 mistakes a day as then I know I’m going somewhere, I’m using the language. So embarrass yourself. Go out there. Talk to people.

Matthew Youlden: he speaks around 20 languages

In his TEDx talk on the topic of how to learn any language quickly, Matthew Youlden, who speaks around thirty languages, mentions making mistakes as one of the three keys to learn a language proficiently. To quote him:

Because we learn by making mistakes, it’s the only way we can acquire things right. As children, we’re even needed to make them. But as adults, we are apprehensive as they make us feel vulnerable.

Sid Efromovich: he speaks seven languages

Sid Efromovich, another master language learner who can speak seven languages, says making the underlined five principles in learning language proficiently:

 the golden rule of language learning, the most important thing, is to get things wrong, to make mistakes.

He says – and that’s common sense – that when we’re learning a new language, we’re enlarging our database of sounds and other vivid language-related stuff and therefore are forced to make mistakes:

That [making a mistake] is the activity that you need to search because that is the sign that tells you that you’re going beyond your database and that you’re letting yourself to traverse the realm of the new language.

Marianna Pascal: she has helped seasoned professionals speak better for more than 20 years

Marianna Pascal has helped seasoned professionals in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries to speak better English for over twenty years. She says people who don’t feel embarrassed about making mistakes, don’t feel concluded by others, don’t feel shy as they are the ones who communicate the best in English.

Scott and Vat: they learnt four languages from preliminary level

Scott and Vat were harsh and full of grammatical mistakes in the beginning when learning four new modern languages, but because they kept trying, they got better. They call making mistakes ‘very good’. Hear to what they’ve to say on making mistakes (duration: 52 seconds):

(Learning through mistakes holds for organisations as well. Google, for example, has seen numerous of its vivid products beat the dust and so many acquisitions gone broken. But because they’ve attempted so many things, they also have a number of smash-hit products and acquisitions, lifting them to where they actually are.)

So by all means, commit mistakes, but also be keen to make them right and improve.  People will think what they prefer to think, but Remember, without speaking through the mouth; you’ll never be able to articulate.

2. Resist peer pressure

Countless people don’t try speaking in English because their close-knit group wouldn’t like it and because their friends would laugh at them.

You can’t walk away from people who make fun of you when you speak in the wrong English. You’ve to simply not pay any attention to them, keeping in mind that you have a larger purpose. If you don’t try to speak because of them, you’ll – along with them – eventually regret the lacked practice (see the case study at the end of the post). So, do ignore them and focus on what you must be doing. That, however, doesn’t mean you ruin your friendships. It only specifies that you have found 1-2 other close friends whom you can talk to in English.

If you’re determined enough, you’re more likely to plough through your hesitations. Thus, this brings us to our next point.

3. Motivate Yourself

Fluency in English has a direct correlation with fluency in English.

To furnish an example from India, here are a few worrying statistics from National Spoken English Skills Report says that:

Only 7.1 percent fall in ‘good’ or above category, with only 1.3 per cent being in ‘very good’.

And more nutrition for thought:

Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder and earlier CEO of Infosys (USD 10 Billion + revenue), in his convocation at IIT Madras convocation ceremony left two important messages with the graduating students: don’t ever restrict your learning and develop nurtured skills. He was addressing fresher students at IIT, but he didn’t speak about technology or engineering. He spoke of basics – if you’re good at these, you can very well master other things.

There is a plethora of studies and anecdotal evidence that unequivocally point to the role of verbal fluency in professional achievement. Graduates, even from the best undergraduate and graduation institutions all over the world, have sub-par career results for want of compact communication skills.

If you have fluency in English, you’ll pull away from many other vivid job-seekers and colleagues, and open opportunities for yourself in departments where, otherwise, you may be rejected.

Compact communication skills will also help you build a better and broader social network.

Getting better at something that has an essential role in your professional and social life should be a strong influencer for you. Remind yourself of the benefits you’ll result or many opportunities you’ll miss if you can’t communicate well in English. And, essential, unlike mathematics, science, history, literature, and others, English is not really a subject. It’s a skill that will last your entire lifetime – all the more reason to be best at it.

This brings us to the concluding point, which is also my favourite. I’ve seen people not trying their best because they mistakenly believe that they don’t have the talent to speak fluently as others do.

4. Everyone has the ability to Speak Fluent English

At the most basic level, any skill – tennis, basketball, and even walking – is achieved through building significant neural connections in the brain. The stronger these connections are for a specific skill, the more proficient we are in that genre.

Here is how these neural connections are built:

The English language is no different. It’s also acquired through building its neural connections. And the way to build compact neural connections is to exercise the skill and improve on elements you lack in.

There is no starting distinction between yours and a fluent speaker’s neurons. Lack of intelligence or inborn capability or being from an average background is not the reason for poorly spoken English. You’re no way disadvantaged in terms of basic attributes required to learn English.

The reason your English skills are not good enough is you haven’t practised enough; you haven’t improved your weak areas. If you initiate today, you too will become good at these skills. Many, however, give up thinking you can’t get better at English Language skills because you lack something fundamental – background, genes, etc. That’s not the case.

You may read more on the topic in this post on why everyone has the potential to speak English.

  • Accept the fear and have the courage to speak: –

We walk around the imagination that fluent speakers don’t have any fear. However, the truth is that seasoned speakers to have a feeling of fear. Here, you should know that fluency isn’t your problem is, but the fear of committing a mistake is the real reason. Once you know the fear, you can fluently start talking with people.

  • Improving with Practice: –

Practice makes a man reach perfection, and this quote goes perfect when it comes to eliminating the hesitation to speak fluently. The thing is we are fearful of doing something we have not done earlier. So if you are practising English speaking for the very first time, you will end thinking, but never go ahead of it. So the long term solution is to remove the hesitation is to keep practising with self or friends.

  • Making English fun and daily habit: –

Effective learners know how to apply specific tactics for having communication and fluent. One of the better practices they follow is making the language fun and convenient. The more you use the English language as your daily routine, the more it becomes easier to speak and understand. Don’t put more pressure on elaborate grammar, but on vocabulary and speaking without hesitation.

  • Taking up online Spoken course: –

There is an online speaking course, and the course is designed to offer complete personalised assistance to new learners. So you communicate on calls and learn elaborate details about the language. Even if you make mistakes, the trainer will help you to control the faults.

  • Enjoy Learning- Make it a Sport: –

Make learning into a fun sport; don’t take it as a hectic task or job. Have fun learning. If you have fun learning it, then you will want to do it more and more, and thus you will be a rapid learner.

Learning is not a serious affair. Yes, you mustn’t get stressed regarding it. The more you will learn, the better you will evolve, and with continuous practice, you will undoubtedly excel the language.

  • Don’t Be too Serious- Have fun: –

Don’t be too determined. Have fun. Enjoy in each class, and you will soon see that there is a drastic as well as a dramatic improvement in your speaking skills. The more you put in the effort, the better you will evolve, but you should enjoy the process of studying.

Attitude is everything. If you possess the right attitude, then you can certainly master the language and have fun doing it.

  • Make Weekly and Monthly Goals: –

Goal making is critical while trying to master the language. It would be highly recommended if you made weekly and monthly aims. The aims will include vocabulary and grammar and also speaking. You should master at least ten words a week and 45 to 50 words a month. Moreover, you should speak for at least 2 hours per week.

If you have these kinds of aims and strictly follow them on a daily basis, then that day is not quite far away when you will excel in the language. Making goals will help you keep proper track of your progress, and they will act as milestones which will help you get better in your learning journey.

  • Believe in Yourself: –

It is essential to believe in yourself and don’t much care about what negative people say. Yes, there will be people who will make fun of you, and you will have to tackle them but don’t lose hope. If you are determined and persist in being so, you will have the last laugh.

Believing in your potentials and working hard go hand in hand. If you practice hard and work at length, then no one can stop you from succeeding. Thus you should never give up and trust in yourself.

  • Ignore Critics: –

It is a matter of the fact that there are negative people in the world, and they will keep on criticising you and mock you and will make fun of you when you commit mistakes while speaking. You need to ignore these critics and believe in yourself ultimately.

Of course, you will commit mistakes. We all commit mistakes when we are learning any skill nut you should be determined and have a well-determined attitude, and that will keep inspiring you, and with your hard work and effort, one day become a well-acclaimed speaker and silence all criticism once and done for all.

  • Give it your Best Shot: –

You need to keep yourself thoroughly motivated and give learning your best shot so that you can achieve and numb all your critics. You should be hardworking and persistent. You should invest your entire heart and soul in your studies, and you should never ever give up.

Learning is not at all difficult; it just needs some time, practice and investing in a Speaking Course Online is an excellent idea to invest your valuable time, money and hard work then no one will cease you from achieving.

  • Don’t Ever Give Up: –

You should possess a never give up attitude even if you commit mistakes and are mocked by others. People like to comment on whether you win or lose, and thus you should pay no attention to your critics. You should be persistent and determined to learn quickly and rapidly. If you put effort on your grammar and vocabulary and speak on a daily basis, then you will master the language and become a great speaker of that specific language.

  • Learn From Your Mistakes: –

We all commit mistakes, but you need to treat your mistakes as building steps to success. It is not essential whether you fall what is essential is that you rise after every failure. Thus you should take a lesson from your mistakes and never repeat them if you work.

Sincerely, then nothing can bar you from speaking fantastic and becoming a pro in the English language.

Thus if you don’t pay much attention to the critics, learn from your mistakes and work sincere and challenging you can indeed become a fluent speaker of that language and you should have fun and experience while learning as that will fasten and better your learning. Also, don’t forget to make aims as goals give you the right direction and an actual reality check.

Thus by following all these mentioned pointers, you can conquer your hesitation and speak fluently. No matter what happens with you, never give up. As they say that

“Tough times do not last, but tough people do.”

Stalling and fright of speaking don’t quit until you exercise these suggestions. You need to follow specific methods religiously to ensure you get the best return and improve the future of your career.

We always struggle to improve the fluency to communicate and have a fright that we will be criticised for our mistakes. The situation is when we actually speak, especially when experts don’t train us for perfection. The truth is, we often trust that the other person is concluding us, and our mistake will make us look like a fool in front of them.

But the truth, you will never get the fluency if you don’t open your mouth in front of others. The only way to get the fear out of you is to be confident and proficient.

Short-term approach

When your back is paining, you take a pain-killer to get rid of the pain. Similarly, your short term approach to speaking English should be to deal with the problem right away. You should talk as much as you can. If you are worrying that your grammar is imperfect, take light, others may not notice as much, and even if they do, they may not judge you as a complete fool. You may come across as a person who had an idea and picked up the courage to share, despite not so good communication skills. Believe us, and it is better than not speaking at all, which may give away the impression that you are dull and never have an idea to share at your workplace.

 Long-term approach

This is like Yoga, where you need to practice every day for good health. Here you will practice improving your language every day for better communication in the future. Join an online spoken class and meet like-minded individuals with whom you can practice your English speaking without any hesitation.

Be prepared! If you are on a stage and have absolutely no idea what you are going to say, then probabilities are you’ll hesitate and stumble. You don’t have to necessarily have a well written, spell-checked, award-winning speech (Save those for times when you are in major competitions and such.)! Just have a fundamental idea of what you are going to speak. Example: If you are representing a speech about cat behaviour, think of three main points, such as neutral behaviour, good/happy behaviour, and bad behaviour. Then, find three crucial points about each of those topics.

Be calm and composed. If you are cracking out and are thinking about all of the negative things that could happen and your head is full of “what-ifs”, then there is NO WAY you will be able to do it! Believe in yourself! If you think something like, “It’s all good. I know what I’m going to speak, and I can do this!”, right before you present, then you’ll be subtle!

Be positive and optimistic! If you think, “I will not be able to do this. I stink at saying in front of people” or, “Everyone is going to hate the speech that I worked hard on because it’s so bad” you will not be able to do it! But if you trust in yourself, then everyone else will trust in you too.

Practice leads to perfection! Practice repeatedly in front of your mirror and before you get on the stage. The more you put in the effort, the more fluent and confident you will become!

2. Prepare a few good speeches:

Most of the renowned speakers have some speeches prepared beforehand. They use useful quotes and sayings which they use while speaking in front of an audience.

Impromptu speeches are not easy, and those who give extempore speeches usually use the same quotes and examples on distinct occasions. You may read many books on some of the famous speeches.

The collection of speeches by one of the great orators, Swami Vivekananda, is a good option. If you have to be a speaker, you need to hear the speech by Mark Antony at least once in your life.

Analyse the well-acclaimed speeches and try to understand what makes a speech interesting. You will slowly learn to make memorable statements.

Over some time, you may also learn to blend humour with your speeches in a charming manner so that your speeches amuse the masses. It would help if you prepared speeches after understanding what appeals to your audience.

3. Practice in front of the mirror:

Even when you are well-reversed with the different speeches, you may still get conscious when people stare at you.

The only way to beat this fright is by preparing in front of the mirror. The mirror helps you to understand how to speak in front of people.

It also helps you notice if you have some very irritating body language which the audience dislikes. Continuously practice in front of the mirror in order to grow more efficient.

Strikeout all the poor body language and speak with confidence. Once you think you are doing it correctly, you need to proceed to the immediate next step. Your confidence improves only in stages, and you must be willing to put in much effort.

4. Practice in front of your close friends and dear ones:

Once you gain confidence in your speaking skills, ask your close friends and dear ones to analyse your speaking skills.

You may gather a small group of audience of your near and dear ones and initiate speaking in front of them. Ask them what they reviewed about your speaking skills. Ask for useful suggestions and amendments.

There are some vivid habits that you do not realise when you are practising in front of the mirror. Your friends can help you notice these habits. They may also tell you certain ways to get rid of these habits.

Do not eliminate any suggestions given by your close friends. They are the ones who know you at best, and their suggestions are precious.

5. Be careful not to be repetitive:

The audience hates people who keep on repeating the same thing over and over again. Take extra care to make sure not to repeat any sentence all the way again.

You should also put in the effort to make sure that you do not repeat the same quote in two distinguished speeches in front of the same group of audience.

You need to have diversified examples and quotes ready all the time if you wish to have a good impression on your audience by speaking in the public. This is feasible only if you read a lot of books and novels.

Reading helps you develop your vocabulary and speak more confidently. You must speak in a relatable manner so that the audience relates to the facts that have been gathered to hear from you. You must cite examples that are recent and relevant to the particular group of audience.

Do not choose to use ancient old English usages in front of the young crowd as they cannot have any connection with it.

If you are in the middle of a crowd that is middle-aged, you may pick up topics that relate to middle-class family lives and office work-life and work-life balance. The choice of topics and examples which you decide determines your acclamation as a speaker.

6. Participate in social events and occasions where you can speak on stage:

Once you are sure that you have correctly furnished your speaking skills, it is time to analyse your skills in front of an audience of strangers. You may opt to speak in social events. You may also actively participate in comparing events as there you have no need of speaking continuously.

Try out distinct styles of speaking and see which style picks up more audience reaction. You can make it your impromptu style, which you may apply on all occasions of public speaking.

Do not hesitate to experiment with your styles of public speaking. You should know how to speak confidently without hesitation. The audience always encourages change provided the change is optimistic.

7. Volunteer in platforms for occasions of public speaking:

Now, it will become quite straightforward for you to volunteer for public speaking in different office and school events. Furnishing and polishing your public speaking skills will also help you in active participation in-office meetings enterprisingly. Through vivid seminars and presentations, good speakers in offices always have a lot of popularity.

Good public speaking skill is also essential in leaders. If you plan to lead your team someday, you need to have better public speaking skills. Your bosses will surely notice you if you actively participate in vivid office events. So do not hesitate to actively take part in such events if you ever get a chance.

Strategies for Becoming a Better Public Speaker:

Once you become a renowned public speaker, there are facts that you need to remember if you wish to maintain popularity. Here we have scribbled a few of these facts out for you all.

1. Your dressing and grooming cast an impression:

When you are an established public speaker, you cannot ignore your dressing and grooming. You must make sure that you are wearing clean clothes that are perfectly ironed. Comb your hair neatly and make sure it is properly set.

Your shoes should be neatly polished, and your face should be clean, shaved or correctly maintained.

If you are planning to speak in front of the public, you must remember that many people are going to notice you all the time so go prepared for the same situation.

2. Your body language and gait also have a major impact:

You can irritate a listener easily and divert his attention from your speech if you are scraping your head or scratching some other part of your body. You need to entirely check over your body language if you are a public speaker.

3. Be aware that you do not hurt sentiments when you make public speeches:

Public speakers shoulder a big responsibility of amusing and motivating the masses. They also shoulder the responsibility of mastering their speech so that no one is hurt by what they speak.

You need to make sure of the fact that you do not speak anything that hurts the sentiments of a particular section or group of individuals. If you have a diversified audience, you need to take into consideration each one’s emotions and feelings and beliefs.

4. Do not target specific individuals when you make a speech:

Few irresponsible public speakers aim at individuals and try to gain popularity. This is a ridiculous and immature approach.

You have no honour to target individuals in your speeches. If you are heartless to the feelings of people, you may not survive as great public speakers.

Public speaking is no child’s play. You need to improve your skills and understand your audience continuously. This will help you develop gradually. It will also help you proceed in your career step by step. As it is said earlier ‘Slow and steady wins the race‘. You cannot be a good public speaker in a single day’s effort. It is a gradual process, and you must be willing to put in the required effort.


The fear of making mistakes is the leading cause of hesitation in my experience. We are habituated to having to do our best in other sectors of our lives (school, work, parenthood) that applying correct grammar and vocabulary seems to be the only option left. Good news is: this is quite far from the truth. Whenever we have a conversation with someone, our goal is to deliver our message and understand what we are told.

Do you have to use flawless grammar to communicate effectively? Not.

Does it mean that you will never know to use the language correctly? Not at all.

You will learn all the correct grammar forms and vocabulary with time. Just stay with it, keep learning and most importantly, keep practising. This takes me to my second point:


No matter how much time you expend studying your textbooks, you won’t remember much unless you put it into regular exercise. Practice, in our case, means speaking continuously. Speak in English as often as possible. The more often you apply a word or grammatical layout, the faster it will come to mind the immediate next time you need it. It’s as easy as that. And I genuinely think, there’s no other way around it. If you have applied a word a hundred times, I can guarantee you will not hesitate anymore when having to apply it again. It will become an active part of your vocabulary grasp. And the same goes for grammar.

Case Study

I met a current graduate at the institute, where I evolved the curriculum for Communication Skills course. There was hardly any persons who couldn’t land a job through on-campus placement, the main reason for being poor communication skills.

I asked him what he thought to do in the coming days and years. He replied that he would continue to apply to different companies on his own calibre, and if he still doesn’t acquire a job, he would rather consider writing entrance examinations for MBA programmes and other government jobs.

What he didn’t notice was that in all the above-mentioned options, he was considering he’ll have to face the interview. There too, his communication skills will be revealed. Imagine, working hard for years for the entrance exams only to experience disappointment because of a thirty-minute interview. His communication skills drastically reduce good options from his plate even though he was very good in academics. And there was no short-term conclusion to his problem. That’s what affected me.

He concluded by saying that his biggest regret during his span of years at the college was that he didn’t attempt to speak in English despite wanting to because of extreme peer pressure. His peers, his friends are gone by now, and he has to fend for himself.

Well, this is extreme, but the typical case. However, there are several times more people who are satisfied with a lesser job (in terms of prestige, nature of work, and salary) for the same reason – poor communication skills.

Don’t let hesitation in speaking do the same to you.


  1. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. None has ever learnt anything without making mistakes.
  2. Don’t be affected by peer pressure. Always do remember your goals.
  3. Strong communication skills is an all-time and life-changing forte. This should be a compact reason to conquer your hesitations.
  4. You and fluent speakers initiate at the same point. You have the same ability to learn for them. They’re no way higher to you by way of possessing different genes. But because you believe that you don’t possess it in you to learn the English language, you don’t have to try hard enough, thereby making the belief a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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