In an ever-increasing global society, more and more people are multi-lingual, live or work in foreign countries, or work with people from countries and cultures that differ from their own. We can hope that increasing globalization in business will result in greater connection between individuals and increased cultural understanding. Unfortunately, our ability to understand the speech of others appears to play a part in our perception of their trustworthiness.
The way in which we speak is a part of our identity. We project ourselves in our interactions with others by what we say and how we say it. Making a change in our speech patterns can be difficult on our own, not only due to the challenges of changing an established pattern, but also because we identify with the way we speak.
It is possible to make your speech more clearly understood by others while maintaining your personal style. Some speakers can do what we call "code-switching," which basically means using a different style in different contexts. We all do this to some degree, for example when presenting in a formal business meeting versus chatting at a social gathering. You can learn to code-switch in terms of your accent as well.
Read more about accent and identity:
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