Here are some things you can do on your own to improve your pronunciation:
• Speak more slowly — This is the best way to clarify your speech. Often, this simple change will greatly help people to follow what you are saying. It gives them time to process what they hear. And you also have more time to make the sounds clearly.
• Open and move your mouth while speaking — If you watch yourself in a mirror, it should look comfortable, even though it may feel uncomfortable until you are used to it.
• Learn how to pronounce the individual sounds; make sure you pronounce the endings of words — Although native speakers may drop endings, there are subtle ways in which we make the sounds understood. It is usually easiest for non-native speakers to clearly make all the sounds that are normally pronounced. You can use an online audio dictionary and pronunciation guide as a reference.
• Watch stress and intonation — Make sure that you learn correct syllable stress, and practice exaggerating it. Also, learn which words we stress in sentences: generally, all nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Intonation also carries a lot of meaning. Try to copy people in order to internalize common intonation patterns. Watch out for “up-talk”: many people raise their voice at the end of every sentence. This is a new speech pattern becoming common in Canada. However, it doesn’t sound very professional.
• Watch people’s faces to see if they understand; or you can ask if they understand what you’ve said — You may need to repeat what you said, or even change some vocabulary, in order for the meaning to be clear. If the person is looking at you when you speak, it will be easier to understand you.