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

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

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Hi @Madhu-Nag-Shety Accent do play an important role but Indian accent is accepted and promoted largely on Udemy and there's a great scope for indians to Reach international audience. 

So i think you should go ahead and set an example. 

All the best 🥳!

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

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Thank you dear @Karan280 

Feels good to hear words of encouragement 

 

Be Happy !

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

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@Karan280 wrote:

...Indian accent is accepted and promoted largely on Udemy...


Just curious:  What's the source or basis for that affirmation?

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

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Hi, 

I have been going through the same and I have noticed that Indian/Pakistani students never face any issue in understanding my voice. But other students do.

In some research on the problem, I have reached the conclusion that problem is not with the accent, but the clarity of the speech. So, I am working on speaking more slowly and clearly. 

Please share your thoughts. 

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

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Thank you for sharing your first-hand experience dear, @IrfanSharif 

@RandyMinder suggested the same

I couldn't agree with both of you more

 

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

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If I enrolled in a course and could not understand the instructor, or had to expend an inordinate amount of effort to understand him/her, I would ask for a refund. It's not about having a British or American accent, it's about NOT having an accent so thick that someone who isn't Indian can't understand what you are saying. If it's a concern, hire someone to do voiceover for you.

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

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Hiring someone to do voice over is a great idea. Thank you dear @wolf2k19

Thinking about its effect on old students who would take my courses on Udemy in the future and also establishing personal connection with new students

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

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Hi,

Just curious, how much does subtitles help? I mean, even if you're struggling to the extent that you need to turn off the audio, but the subtitles ( auto-generated or self-made) are in good sync, would you (or in general, someone) still ask for a refund?

 

Thanks

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

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I have found that Udemy generated captions are pretty bad. For someone with a thick Indian accent, the generated captions would probably have to be written from scratch. And, if the captions don't contain properly constructed english, or very close, that would probably be as annoying as poor spoken english.

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

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Thanks @RandyMinder.

 

So I can conclude that if the subtitles are written from scratch and are with proper grammar, we should be good to go?

 

This is important for ppl like us, with a thick accent since we can't change our accent overnight and/or if we try to change, a fake accent is something which not everyone can pull off successfully. So the best we can do is have proper subtitles.

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

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No, I didn't say that. Some people might find captions ok, some will not. Not everyone likes captions. I personally do not. I find it distracting to listen to the instructor and have to read captions to understand what the instructor is saying.  

 

Granted, I could mute the instructor but you have to remember that your students will be paying you money for your course. They should not have to mute the instructor and read captions. They expect the instructor to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. If you cannot do that then you could hire a native english speaking person to do your voice-overs. I'm not sure this will be financially viable, but it is an option. 

 

I would make creating captions a last option. Not only will you need to find someone fluent in english to create them but it will be very time consuming and will need to change every time you make a change in your course.

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

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The issue really isn't whether anyone has an accent. We all do to someone from another country, or even people within the same country.  The issue is whether someone will be able to understand you. 

 

If I purchase a course and I have a hard time understanding the instructor or I'm spending too much time focusing on the actual words coming out of the instructor's mouth, I will get a refund. Your (non-Indian) students will do the same thing.

 

I will admit I have a very difficult time understanding most Indian instructors. Not only does their accent tend to be very thick, but they often talk fast, which makes it even worse. You said your accent is thick. If so, you really need to focus on speaking SLOWLY. Otherwise you will find that many of your students will ask for refunds, or leave you with a bad rating.

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

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Thank you dear @RandyMinder 

Speaking slowly is something that I can defnitely adopt

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

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Even I have a thick accent, but I plan to correct the auto-generated subtitles to the best possible, at least for the core videos. Do you think that would help @RandyMinder ?

 

Thanks

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

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@TeeterTats972 

 

That's hard for me to say. If the captions you generate do not contain proper english, with proper grammer etc., that, for me, would be just as annoying as the thick accent.

 

I would certainly suggest you have someone who speaks and writes fluent english to create, or at least review, the captions you create.

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

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Hi @RandyMinder & @Madhu-Nag-Shety 

Greetings.

 

over the period I have figured about Indian Accent and captions that, if we record while keeping our pace a bit slow and clear.. the captions go 90% or more correct. However, this will require good amount of effort while doing the first recording and for the rest of the time, the pain is gone. 
I published my first post on 20 June 2020 and by now I am having almost 26 subscribers to My course, out of which 2 are foreign nationals and the reviews that I have received from both of them is 4.5 or 5 star rating. I didn't get any negative comment regarding my accent, even though it was a bit faster. 
I am right now working on my captions too. But, the recording being in faster pace, the captions are totally wrong and I am working a lot to make the necessary corrections. Obviously I am going to take care of these mistakes in my next courses where I'll be able to save ample amount of time. 

@Madhu-Nag-Shety  you please focus more attention while doing the initial recordings and captions will come better. Clear and slow speed of speaking will make you more understand le too. 

I hope this helps. All the best. 

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

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Many thanks, dear @Piyush 

It's very helpful indeed

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

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Hi I am a indian to and am leaving in USA, but I have really few problems with other people understanding my accent so I think you are good

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

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Hi, In my opinion, words contribute to the least, compared to your body language and the liveliness, you bring to your lectures ! It is the 'feel' that the audience get from your lectures, which brings about an 'understanding' in them and not just giving information. My first course is on communicating effectively, and you may want to have a look, if you wish! Thank You.
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Re: How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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I could not disagree with you more on this. As a student myself, and from many comments I've read about this, if I cannot understand the instructor, or spend too much time focusing on what he is saying, I'll get a refund or leave an appropriate review. It doesn't matter if the instructor is "lively" or not. Understanding him/her is everything. 

 

Body language is irrelevent if you cannot understand the instructor. And, besides, many courses never show the instructor as he/she is teaching, which I prefer anyway. For most courses, I don't want to see the instructor as I find that distracting. But it depends upon the course.

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

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Thanks @RandyMinder  

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

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

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

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

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

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I sent you an email.

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

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Many thanks @Jorim 

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

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

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

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

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Hi @Jorim ,

 

Thank you for detailed reply. Really appreciated!

 

With kind regards,

Vlad.

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

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

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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. 

View solution in original post

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

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Many thanks, dear @Yogi1111 (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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Re: How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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

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

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

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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 Smiley Happy 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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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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