There was a time when I used to get self conscious whenever I said one of the two words: ‘corporate’ or ‘cooperate’.
I’d say one of them, and then the other word would turn up in my head, making me doubt what I had just said. Then a voice would appear: “Oh.. Did I pronounce it right or did I mix them up? How do I sound to them right now?”… That annoying voice that makes you less present and more self conscience when speaking.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s good to be able to hear yourself from the outside. That’s how you change things you’re not happy with. But when it inhibits and prevents you from feeling free and confident, you need to get rid of it.
So what can you do about it? You can begin by giving yourself the tools to avoid confusing situations. Learn pronunciation of basic stuff like the Schwa, the difference between bed-bad and sheep-ship, or work on difficult TH transitions. Practice words you’re not sure on how to say and that use on a regular basis.
Repeat and practice those elements. It’s priceless. Teach your tongue and not just your head. That’s when you’ll start feeling and hearing the difference.
Today I can help you to distinguish between CORPORATE and COOPERATE.
Remember, if it’s feels artificial at first – don’t stop! You’re on the right track.
When you change your pronunciation it should feel strange at first, but the more you do it you get used to it and make it your own.
Be well and see you next week,