How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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Hi,

I'm an Indian and like most Indians my accent is quite thick.

It's observed that fellow Indians normally follow what I speak, but have never taught a foreign national..

Does this restrict my reach only to Indians? 

Do I have to change my accent to expand my reach? 

Could some one please help me understand what role does ones accent or pronunciation play on being an effective Udemy Instructor.


Be Happy!!
Madhu Nag Shetty

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I see your courses are yoga and wellness which is my field as well (most people I know are in these fields or take the courses). This changes the response greatly from other fields. American and British strongly prefer to learn yoga from someone in India or born in India. We yogis also understand thicker accents better. My only suggestion (without hearing your video) would be to speak slower than you would to Indians. Our Western brains function slower with listening and are used to slow talking with heavy enunciation. I think you will do really well on this platform. Please reach out to me should you wish more details. 

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Thanks @RandyMinder  

Anonymous
Not applicable

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Nah, I disagree.  The understanding comes from the explanation of the content.  If I can't understand you, your explanation is useless. 

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@Madhu-Nag-Shety wrote:

Hi,

I'm an Indian and like most Indians my accent is quite thick.

It's observed that fellow Indians normally follow what I speak, but have never taught a foreign national..

Does this restrict my reach only to Indians? 

Do I have to change my accent to expand my reach? 

Could some one please help me understand what role does ones accent or pronunciation play on being an effective Udemy Instructor.


Be Happy!!
Madhu Nag Shetty



Hi Madhu, 

 

Unfortunately, I do believe having a thick accent restricts your reach. It is not about having an Indian accent, though. If I have a hard time understanding your lectures because of your pronunciation, speed, intonation, rhythm, etc. I will very likely not get much out of the course or even ask for a refund.

 

That being said, if you want to reach an international audience, work on having a neutral English accent. For natives of different languages you'll be able to find tips on Youtube and other platforms in how to neutralise their accent. 

 

I'm German and worked on my speaking skills with a programme called Speak Clearly, which helped me a lot. Send me a PM if you would like more information.

 

P.S. I don't think it's about having an American or British accent. It's about speaking in a way others can easily understand. I often think of people who went to international school when it comes to that. It's neither American nor British English they speak but they're pretty much the easiest to listen to because they've adapted their speaking in a way to make it easy for non natives of different backgrounds. 

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Thank you, dear @Jorim  
My tutor suggested the same and I'm looking into it seriously.
In the name of accent neutralization, I'm afraid I'll start faking it.
Either way, I'm planning to give it a shot
By the way, I'll PM you to know more about Speak clearly program

Cheers!

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Sorry not sure how to PM on Udemy. If you don't mind, could you send the information to madhunaag@ymail.com

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I sent you an email.

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Many thanks @Jorim 

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Please don't try any fake accent. This may create more problems than getting you a proper solution. Clear and Slow speed of speaking is the key for we people. 

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Dear @Jorim ,

 

Can you share (here on this forum) more details about the Speak Clearly programme and/or how you worked on your speaking skills? 

 

It would be very, very useful to many instructors (and me, of course).

 

Thank you,

 

With kind regards,

Vlad.

 

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Dear @Vlad_B,

 

This programme helps to understand how every single letter is pronounced and is pronounced in connection with other letters. What I liked most where the so-called "minimal pairs". Those are words that are almost the same but pronounced slightly differently:

sheep - ship

thing - thin

bet - vet

 

You can find a lot of these just googling for "minimal pairs". Nailing the pronunciation of these can help a lot. Just practice saying the pairs and pay attention to the differences.

 

Additional to that, it looked at the rhythm of the English language (which usually is overlooked in language classes!). Check out Youtube for free resources on that and experiment speaking with the rhythm (keep in mind that the rhythm changes a lot from e.g. British to American to Australian English etc.)

 

If you really want to go deep and improve your pronunciation a lot, check out

https://www.speakmoreclearly.com/

and

https://www.mimicmethod.com/

 

I've used both and liked them. Keep in mind though, that you get out of the programmes that which you put in: Low energy and effort = almost no results; high energy and effort = big results ;)

 

Hope that helps,

Jorim 

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Hi @Jorim ,

 

Thank you for detailed reply. Really appreciated!

 

With kind regards,

Vlad.

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Without understanding, communication is of no essence. I agree that accent could somewhat make your audience a bit uncomfortable or excite them with laughter. Regardless of either case, once your audience understand you clearly without struggles, then accent is no longer a concern. I have always enjoyed Indian accent. Smiley Very Happy

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I see your courses are yoga and wellness which is my field as well (most people I know are in these fields or take the courses). This changes the response greatly from other fields. American and British strongly prefer to learn yoga from someone in India or born in India. We yogis also understand thicker accents better. My only suggestion (without hearing your video) would be to speak slower than you would to Indians. Our Western brains function slower with listening and are used to slow talking with heavy enunciation. I think you will do really well on this platform. Please reach out to me should you wish more details. 

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Many thanks, dear @debra1111 (Debra)
Your message has boosted my confidence, It's so relieving to know that in our field westerners prefer Indian trainers (Of course with quality). I've started training on talking slowly. Please share your email, I'll be happy to reach out

Be Happy !

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Madhu,

I also see that you got your degree is from Swami Vivekananda's University who has probably had over one million students outside of India. Highlight your educational background and you will have no problem helping students with wellness and yoga. soloyogacoach@gmail.com

 

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It's getting better and better for me
You are kind
Many thanks, Debra

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Hi Madhu,

Accent is not important  as much as the information and knowledge you are going to feed!!

As long as the knowledge and information is going to be understood by users. 

Just be professional the way you are!!

 

Thank you and good luck :) 

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Thank you, dear, @MohammadMrd for the words of encouragement 

 

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I'm doing Arun Nagarathanam's SEO Mastery course right now. His accent is very thick and the autosubs are sometimes even comicly wrong, but this guy knows his stuff. This is probably going to be one of the most important courses I do this year and to me that's what matters. Content will always be king.

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Hello

 

I think it is not necessarily to focus on accent because if the content is good and understandable that can be amazing. 

 

Enjoy Creating

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The concern is completely justified since accent can be the make or break between understanding and non-understanding.

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