I work as Emergency Management Advisor and, on a daily basis, prepare slide decks, write e-mails and give presentations. However, when I first started in this position, I had weaknesses in grammar, writing and accent which were causing me problems. I found that the meaning I was trying to convey was often misunderstood and I struggled over the correct wording.
I found Voice to Word Consulting and started weekly sessions with Heather Chetwynd. I have had several English teachers and I can say that Heather has been the best. She is a highly experienced and knowledgeable language professional that could easily identify all my needs. Once she assessed my issues, a personalized program was designed for me. She worked through the grammar with explanations, written exercises which gradually got more complex and spoken exercises to consolidate what I had learned and get it into my speech. She was patient and creative in finding ways for me to move what I was learning into my speech, which is generally the most difficult step.
The reading, listening and speaking materials she provided me with were so useful that I was able to start making changes that reduced my accent and improved my pronunciation almost immediately. The materials were easy to use and really engaging. My program was flexible and it allowed me to practice at my own pace and schedule.
After a couple of weeks, my colleagues and my manager noticed my pronunciation improvement and accent reduction. The program helped me to feel more confident in casual conversations but especially at business meetings and presentations. As a result, I find I have considerably more confidence in my speaking and writing and am able to express complex ideas much more clearly than before. The feedback on my yearly review pointed to much improved communication skills.
I really recommend Voice to Word’s one-on-one coaching to internationally trained professionals who want to improve their communications skills and be successful in the Canadian business setting. The time and financial resources I spent on this program were an excellent investment.