Why would you drive a car only in first gear? And why would you speak a language without using it to its full capacity? Language has a lot more capacity than people think. It communicates meaning through vocabulary and grammar of course, but also through ACCENT.
If we take this analogy further we might say that 1st gear is the vocabulary. You’re not going anywhere without 1st gear. Then grammar would be 2nd gear. Now we can drive around the corner to the local shops. But accent gives you the power. It gives you the Speed. It gives you the ease of communication. It communicates subtle things like humour and joy and doubt. And subtle mixtures of all of them together. So accent takes you into 3rd, 4th and 5th gear. Now you can cruise down the highway with efficiency, overtake others and pick up your friends.
An amazing thing happens when people adopt an accent. They are seen. And prejudice melts away. Even if that prejudice is just finding someone charming because of their foreign accent. It melts away, and there they are. There you are.
Often when I’m coaching my students there comes a point when the accent arrives and to be honest my whole perception of them changes. It’s an amazing thing and it’s quite mysterious.
This is particularly important for professionals in sales, where they don’t want this invisible cloud hanging between them and their clients. They want the experience to be personal, so everyone is comfortable and trusted. Where everyone feels seen, transparent and familiar.
Accent has this power. It’s the 3rd, 4th and 5th gear.