What if there was a way to figure out what someone with speaking style 1 was doing differently with their speech than a speaking style 2 and you could analyze each of the distinct variables? Then those variables could be explained to the person so they could know what they are doing, what speakers of style 2 are doing, make comparisons so they can learn how to make changes to each of those variables, and then produce a speech that is easier for others to listen to and understand? That would be really cool. Wait. That's what I do! I teach people how to do what I do. I give people the same information I have, help them hear what I'm hearing and how to make those changes themselves, so they won't need me anymore. The world around them becomes their classroom when they can hear the accents the way I do.
It's not about losing an accent, or reducing or eliminating or any other get-rid-of-it kind of thing. It's really about understanding what's happening in both styles of speaking and making choices of how much you want to use of each one. It's about having options. Hanging out with good friends might not require many changes at all because they know you and understand you well. Speaking at a job interview may require many changes because they don't know you and you want your message to be clearly understood. It's your choice.
People have misconceptions about what accent modification does, but I have seen the joy, confidence, and achievement that it has brought the people I've worked with when they are successful at a job interview, or they get that promotion, or they give a great presentation. I know that I help people achieve their goals by giving them options of how to speak and be understood, and that is my goal for accent modification.
Dr. Christi Barb's Blog:
Thinking About Speaking