The new edge in business communication

When it comes to business, it is widely accepted that English is essential.  There was a time, when knowing English was an advantage.  That time has passed.  English is now a requirement for people serious about their careers. 

If knowing English is no longer an advantage, what is?  In short, the answer is your proficiency in using English to communicate. 

English is the global business language of the world, and yet it still poses a problem for Vietnamese people.  While Vietnamese people are typically capable of reading and writing in English, the vast majority still find it difficult to use English to communication. 

While this problem is causing companies millions of dollars every year, it also provides you with an advantage.  If you are able to speak English clearly, and are able to listen well, you will have an instant competitive edge. 

A common complaint amongst foreigners working in Vietnam is that it is difficult to understand a Vietnamese person speaking English.  Many foreigners have accepted this as, while frustrating, normal. 

What can you do to stand out?  What can you do to be part of the solution? 

Improve your ability to speak English clearly by practicing pronunciation and intonation! This seems like such a simple answer to such a complicated problem, but often, the best solutions are the simplest ones. 

As we’ve mentioned, foreigners have come to accept poor pronunciation as normal.  By speaking English clearly and having pronunciation similar to foreigners, you will immediately differentiate yourself.  And foreigners will notice. 

Time and time again, whenever I speak to a Vietnamese person that speaks English well, it is like a welcoming breeze of fresh air.  Immediately, those people have more credibility, professionalism, and overall seem more reliable. 

After the right credentials and manner of dress and behavior, having clear pronunciation will give you the best first impression, something you don’t get a second chance to have. 

In business, we are taught to use 4 of the 5 senses, touch, sight, hearing, and smell, to make a lasting impression.  You have to touch with a firm handshake.  You have to look professional by your manner of dress, body language, and eye contact.  You have to be clean and smell pleasant.  Finally, you have to sound professional and speak with clarity and confidence. 

It is essential to be aware of all these things when meeting new people.  Pronunciation and intonation is something that will dramatically help you sound better. 

So practice, practice, practice.  Turn this problem of communication into an advantage and competitive edge for you because soon, you will not have this edge.  Soon, even this will become normal.  

Andy Le