Speak English Confidently: A Course for Busy Scientists and Other Professionals

You may already understand English well, but maybe you don’t feel you can speak English confidently in meetings. (In fact, you may not feel comfortable speaking in English at all!)

  • Do you avoid small talk or casual conversations in English because you don’t know what to say?
  • Do you hesitate to speak up in meetings because you’re afraid your pronunciation isn’t clear or you won’t be able to think of the words you need in English?
  • Are you nervous about making suggestions or sharing your ideas because you’re not sure how to defend them or how to argue in a way that’s still respectful?

Course Summary

This six-week course can increase your English meeting and conversation skills, professional vocabulary, and confidence in half an hour to just over an hour each week. 

I've kept the sessions short, because I know you have limited time for study. But because the practice is personalized and focused on speaking, even short practice sessions can have a big impact.

You will learn and use key English words and phrases for participating in a meeting, introducing and discussing proposals, and even disagreeing politely.

You'll also practice talking about your work and your interests with others. (If you're uncomfortable with small talk, there's a little preparation and practice that may make it a lot easier.)

As you discuss your work and practice sharing and defending your ideas in English, watch your speaking confidence increase!

You'll no longer need to stay quiet in meetings because you're afraid of mispronunciation or not being able to find the right words when you need them.

Learn the Vocabulary & Strategies You Need to Speak English Confidently

In this course, we'll look at common vocabulary and phrases for meetings and discussions in English.

Learn English vocabulary and useful phrases for 

  • asking for clarification,
  • making suggestions, 
  • defending your ideas and proposals,
  • agreeing and disagreeing (politely),
  • and discussing priorities

You'll read and practice the most important professional words to explain your ideas, discuss what you are working on, and practice arguments to convince your team or company of the value of your suggestions.

After working with this vocabulary, you'll be sure of how to pronounce it and find it easier to remember it when you need it again.

Course Outcomes

As a result of this course, you will: 

  • Feel more comfortable with “small talk” and conversation in English because you’ve practiced questions and answers about what you and others enjoy doing and other common conversation topics
  • Speak English more clearly in meetings and conversations because of mastering English syllable stresses and other keys to English pronunciation—with personalized help for any areas that have caused people to misunderstand you in the past.
  • Feel more confident speaking in virtual meetings, networking events,  and workplace interactions. We’ll review important professional vocabulary for discussing your work, persuading your coworkers, and resolving problems. We'll also examine phrases and some idioms that are common in meetings. You’ll have extensive speaking practice and role-playing to use what you’ve learned.
  • Deepen your understanding of the principles of persuasion to help you convince your boss or team to adopt your ideas.
  • Learn various ways to discuss a problem and, when necessary, raise objections while still being respectful and constructive
  • Share your ideas more confidently as you improve your word choices and speaking skills.

Who this Course Is for-- and Not for

Most of the scientists I work with have already been studying English for years. Many read (and may write) English well, but they find speaking in English difficult or uncomfortable.

If that describes you, this course is for you.

If you can understand most of what you read on EnglishHints and can make basic requests and comments in English, you probably won't find the course too difficult.

I will be available during the whole course (and the extra practice bonus weeks afterward) by email and at the live Zoom calls to answer any questions and support you. 

If you don't ever use English at work, you don't need this course. (However, if you hope to work for an international company in the future, as many of my students do, it could be valuable to you.)

If you have difficulty reading this, you're probably not ready for the course yet. (EnglishHints has lots of pages that can help you improve your reading skills. I'd recommend you start with those.)

If people often misunderstand you when you speak to them in English, you should probably work on your pronunciation before you try these more advanced speaking strategies. See 9 Days to Better English Pronunciation.

But if people can usually understand you in English but you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to speak, this course can help. It's a chance to practice speaking up and sharing your ideas in a non-threatening environment, where everyone else is working on the same skills.

Why I'm Offering this Course

I have been teaching these strategies and phrases to my one-on-one students, but I'm convinced they can also work in group lessons.

In addition, the dollar exchange rate makes my one-on-one lessons too expensive for some of the people I talk to in Latin America. I wanted to offer them an alternative with some of the most useful lessons and speaking practice that my current students get.

Since this is the first time I've offered these lessons to several people at once, I'd like to test them with a small group first, so I can add materials or make changes if something is confusing or unnecessary.

Participants can make suggestions, ask for extra help, and share feedback with me about what has helped them and anything that was hard to understand or not useful.

The lessons are brief, because most of the advanced English students I help are extremely busy.

I'm convinced that even this short period of intensive, focused practice (plus some ideas to keep your momentum going after we finish), can make a big difference. 

How this Speaking Course Will Work

The six-week course will run from late September to the very beginning of November  2023. It consists of three modules spread over six weeks so that it requires a minimum amount of time each week. The first week of each module you will

  • watch one to three short videos (usually less than twenty minutes total, and some optional, depending on your needs)  
  • complete one to three short exercises to practice and prepare to speak, or sometimes record a short video or audio file (your choice) for me to review 

The second week's lesson will be a "live" group Zoom call based on the first week's practice and possibly a short reading or final practice exercise. It will be offered at several times based on the best times for most people (probably two-three times on Thursday and possibly once or twice on Friday or Saturday as well). It will be recorded for those who can't attend.

The live call will probably run 45 minutes to an hour, to give everyone a chance to speak briefly on the week's topic and to discuss it and interact. I'll also stay to answer any questions not already answered by email. 

This Speak English Confidently course will probably cost $197 in the future. That includes all the videos and practice activities, three live Zoom meetings to practice what you've been working on and ask questions (or four if you include the bonus Q&A), plus my personal feedback on your recordings and probably a half-hour personal call.

Since this is a pilot or beta course* (being offered as a group program for the first time), I'm offering a 25% plus discount: $137. Because that is still quite high in some countries, I'm reducing the base price of the course to $97 (or two installments of $57), and offering the 45-minute personal call plus extra recording reviews as a premium add-on to the course for $40 more. (You'll see both options on the course page.) 

*I use much of the same material in my one-on-one lessons, but I want to make sure the whole process is clear and easy-to-follow even with less personal help.

I need to limit course participants to sixteen people or fewer to make sure I can help everyone get the best results. If more people are interested, I can run a second session of the course later (though it might be more expensive.)

Course Organization 

Module 1 will begin with a survey and recording to help me understand a little more about your English level and priorities in English. Then we'll look at the basics of spoken English: sentence and syllable stresses, small talk, networking, and asking good questions (as well as answering them!)

There's also an optional video and practice exercise on pronouncing and using the English past tense to discuss work that you have done in English.

Again, the practice activities in week 1 will prepare you for live networking and other practice on the call during week 2.

Module 2 will practice meeting procedures and vocabulary, including some phrasal verbs and idioms English speakers often use in meetings. The live meeting will include a chance for each student to give a brief description of what they or their team has been working on-- like the reports team leaders might make at a company-wide meeting. (Week 1 will give some examples to help you prepare. However, if you want to discuss something else instead, that's possible-- just email me to explain.)

Module 3 is about practicing the vocabulary and techniques of problem-solving and persuasion, as well as phrases for agreeing or disagreeing politely and effectively.

Each module will end with a brief survey on what was useful and what wasn't plus suggestions on what would help make the course better.

See also the bonus practice weeks described below.


There is a free bonus trial membership to help you keep your momentum going for several weeks after the course. It's designed to help resolve any issues holding you back from clarity and confidence. During the live Q & A at the end of its first week, I'll also suggest follow-up activities, videos, and other resources so you can continue to increase your English skills and confidence.

Bonus 2: Clear English in Minutes a Day: Improve Your English Pronunciation. This mini-course can help you recognize and pronounce  English vowels, understand spoken English better, use 'shadowing' effectively to improve your speaking clarity, as well as understand the connection between English spelling and pronunciation.

Bonus 3; Improve Your English Listening Skills. Learn a few tips for better comprehension and get suggestions for targeted talks, podcasts, and other listening materials online (based on a brief survey you complete on your interests, needs, and time available). They can help you improve your English fluency quickly and in the most interesting way  possible. 

Bonus 3: Jumpstart Your English Vocabulary. This mini-course gives you the keys to multiply the number of English words you can use confidently.

You can become the professional, confident speaker of English that you are in your native language.

Start by getting the Speak English Confidently course now for $97! (or 2 payments of $57 each.) There's also an option on the following page to add $40 more to get a 45-minute call with me to personalize the instruction and get the most from the course. I highly recommend it, but I didn't include it in the main course because I want to keep the base price as affordable as possible.

The registration deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Time Wednesday September 27, though you can start immediately with the videos, exercises, and speaking practice. I'm looking forward to working with you!

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100% satisfaction guarantee

Your satisfaction guaranteed. Please contact me if you have any problems or questions. If you are not happy with this course, please contact me for a full refund (or a credit plus 10% on a different course if you prefer.)

If you find the course helpful please take a moment to  let me know and to share it. Thanks!

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