Just Like a Dancer

Even if you are not a dancer, you can apply some tips from dancing to your speech:

  • Be nimble and free … at ease, not stiff. Dancers who are stiff are not graceful. Speakers who are stiff are boring and seem tense.
  • Make large movements. Dancers choreograph their moves and direction to reach out to large audiences. You can do the same with your voice. Having a strong, well-projected voice with resonance sends a more profound message and reaches more people.
  • Glide, don’t jump. Just as dancers transition from one move to another, you too can move from one topic to another gracefully, not in a disruptive manner. Work on smooth connection.
  • Posture matters. Dancers aren’t bent over and low energy. Speakers can’t be either. Good speakers breathe and are poised and know how to maximize their diaphragmatic support.
  • Timing Matters. Dancers are aware of how much distance there is between themselves and other dances and how far they can move. Speakers need to be aware of distance too. In terms of voice travel and in terms of how long it takes them to say something and how much space they put between words and between phrases.
  • Complexity. Dancing isn’t just one thing: it’s moving in time with the music, looking confident and poised, yet natural and comfortable, and moving with expert grace, necessary strength, and precision. Speaking is like that too. It’s a dance of the voice.

Facial Movement

Asians often skimp on facial movement. That is, the face doesn’t move much when you are speaking, so an audience of mixed cultures may not know if you are passionate, serious, happy, distressed, joking, overjoyed or angry. Learn to connect emotional expression with your words to improve your speech. It makes a big difference if you are sending consistent emotional support to your words. If you try to “fake it to make it”, it can backfire. A fake smile is easy to spot and hard to maintain (looking inconsistent if you let it go). If you don’t express yourself with facial movement, an American audience may not connect with your message and may doubt your words. Instead of attempting to do something “over the top,” start small, get feedback, video record and watch how you look. Engage the eyes with expression. Practice linking the emotion you feel with your words. It will make a huge difference in how your are received by others.

Should Melania Trump Speak with an American Accent?

As a Speech & Accent Coach, I often question to what extent it’s important for someone to speak with an American Accent.

For example, I wonder about Melania Trump. Those who support her are adamant that she is a multi-lingual immigrant who should be commended for her ability to speak various languages, but evidence that she speaks those languages well (French and Italian are two of them) is hard to find. Her recent video, recorded visits to schools with French and Italian children show her speaking English with a few friendly “Bonjour’s” and “Ciao’s” sprinkled in. The argument is that if she spoke those languages, she would surely do so in the company of French and Italian children.

Although it really shouldn’t matter whether she speaks French or Italian, it does matter that she speaks broken English with no visible evidence of attempting an American Accent… or should it matter?

Is it important for the First Lady to speak with an American Accent?

On the one hand, we could give her a break for being an immigrant. Her first language is Slovenian, so one might expect her to speak English with an accent.. But since she chose to marry an American (Donald Trump) and support him in becoming the President of the US, wouldn’t it make sense that as First Lady she should at least make an attempt to learn American English?


What could Melania Trump gain if she spoke with an American Accent?

She could speak up to clarify her intent. When she wears a jacket that reads on the back: “I really don’t care; do you?” when going to visit immigrant children who have been separated from their parents, it would be nice if she could speak up and explain whether it was a fashion statement with unintended consequences or intentional. If she did so with an American Accent (apologizing I would presume), we might be more inclined to give her a break.


Other immigrants could respect and be motivated by her. By speaking the way she does, she may send the message that she really doesn’t have to be polished or clear. She may send a message of entitlement, not a genuine desire to support others. Unlike Barbara Bush, the wife of the first George Bush, who had a passion for family literacy, Melania may seem more like an actor in a play than a First Lady who stands for something. If she strived to speak American English with an American Accent, it might be different. People might respect her.


History might judge her separately from her husband. Melania has publicly proclaimed that she doesn’t always agree with “The Donald”. However, the more time that passes and more history we have with her husband’s leadership abilities (or lack thereof), it would be refreshing and pleasant if the First Lady could at least “weigh in” with some evidence of independent thought as a woman and human being. She mentioned wanting to work against cyber-bullying, but she hasn’t been a strong force in actively taking it on as her issue of choice. Michelle Obama did a beautiful job of speaking up without being distracting, and partisanism aside (this is not a political article), if Melania spoke up with an American Accent, she could make a statement as an independent immigrant woman that people could evaluate for her own merits, instead of someone who is “just along for the ride” on the coattails of her hubbie.


If you would like to work on your American Accent, you may need to hire a Speech & Accent Coach! You never know when you will get your “big break” to speak up in the public arena, and it might be a good idea to get prepared for that day early on!

Deceptively Similar Sounds

Some sounds seem “deceptively similar.” For Koreans, the /z/ and /j/ sound seem similar; to Americans they are very different. Words like “region” and “reason” differ only by those sounds. Vietnamese speakers struggle with /s/ and /sh/ sounds. Practice with “superstitious” or “special” or “superficial” to make the two sounds close together and make sure you can control your articulation. For Chinese speakers, the /dz/ an /zh/ sounds can seem similar with “major” and “measure”… the vowels are different too, but the two medial consonants also have different air flow patterns. They share the same point of articulation, but differ in terms of breath delivery, so it’s a good idea to focus on clearly distinguishing them in context.

A good rule of thumb is that if two sounds seem the same to you, but are different to native American English speakers, then you probably have to hold that sound longer to really appreciate the differences (in sound and in articulation).

Timing is Everything

This is so true of speech. You have to know when you speak quickly, when to hold words longer, when you make sounds longer and when to make them shorter. You can plan when to pause strategically and consciously choose how long to look at a listener before looking away. Play with your timing, get some feedback, and work on it. Once your timing is “spot on”, everyone will understand you better and it will be easier to captivate the room.

Challenge Sounds

The biggest mistake many Asian speakers make (Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese, for example) is often focusing too much (over doing it) on the /r/ and the /l/ sound. Of course, it’s a good thing to work on those sounds, especially if you say them incorrectly. However, if you get a “general grasp” on them (you will know because people will understand you when you say words like “relevant”), then move on to working on other issues. Are you grouping words and holding the last one longer?  If you are primarily focusing on individual sounds, you could be making yourself harder to understand. Instead, focus on clustering words in groups and increasing the time between word groups. Spend more time on challenge words (say them more deliberately with focus), but give the entire “chunk” of data … the content of your speech … the primary focus. Don’t try to be a perfectionist… take what you have, and work on being the best you can be by focusing on the “bigger picture.”

Breath on Air Flow Sounds

Most Asians don’t use enough breath on “air flow” sounds in English. Which sounds are these? They are the sounds that sound “breathy” a bit when native speakers talk. Have you ever noticed which sound lasts longer?

The voiceless ones like:

  • Ffffeeling ffffanssssy (feeling fancy)
  • Fffffirsssst thththththingssssss ffffirsssst (first things first)
  • Fffffocusssss on the pozzzzzitivvvve (focus on the positive)
  • Ssssomeththththing sssspeshshshshial (something special)

Notice which sounds are longer in conversation, and practice deliberately releasing air specifically on those sounds. You will notice your speech increases in voice time and sounds more pleasurable to listeners. This will make your speech sounds more measured (less rushed) and the timing will be better. The intonation will be easier to control with breath.

Exaggeration is the New Normal

When I ask clients to “exaggerate” or “elongate” sounds, they often tell me it sounds exaggerated, and they don’t want to do it. Recording will help because often it’s not as exaggerated as you think. But in addition to that, what feels exaggerated is really just “strong” so you might ask yourself what makes you want to say things quickly and softly. Often it’s a fear we’re not saying things correctly. Start noticing when you rush and make notes about what you were saying. Then, look at the key words and write them phonetically. Then during your “practice time”, say them and record them (slowly and clearly, a syllable at a time). Once you “have it”, notice if the next time you can emphasize those words without feeling that you are exaggerating.

One sound Asians tend to feel is exaggerated is the /r/ after a consonant, like “creature” or the /l/ after a consonant like “clear”. The reason it feels so exaggerated is the tongue engagement behind the upper teeth is too light for many Asian speakers (such as Thai or Japanese speakers). So hold the tongue there longer, and you will get a more native-like sound.

Emphasizing words is important … it may sound like exaggerating to you until you hear how you sound in public, and you may be surprised how great you actually do sound!

Stay tuned for new videos specifically for a variety of first languages, such as Chinese, Indian, European languages and more!

Sounding Out Words

Most Asian speakers pronounce words as “units”. This means you say words one-at-a-time with all the sounds at once. So if you are mispronouncing a word, you probably won’t notice. If instead you sound out the word and pay attention to each sound (consonants, vowels, and syllables) and say the word deliberately making all the sounds before you speed it up, you’ll get a much better result!

The Dangers of “Listener Fatigue”

If you speak in a way that makes it difficult for people to understand you, lacks polish, or just isn’t very engaging, you may think it’s ok. No big deal, right? I’ve heard people say, “a lot of my friends speak worse than I do … what difference does it make?”

A few considerations before you conclude it’s no big deal:

  1. Have you ever thought about “listener fatigue?” If people can only listen to you for a short time before they disengage, how does that impact what you say?

    The idea behind “listener fatigue” is that most of us have short attention spans. We can only focus on one source of information for so long before we lose interest. Do you really want to shorten that length of time even more by speaking unclear and indecisively, forcing your listeners to struggle to understand you?

  2. If your listeners “give up” because they are mentally fatigued and can’t continue to absorb your content, have you ever thought about what you lose?

    – Others who speak more clearly may get credit for ideas you voiced but didn’t clearly communicate or people didn’t “hang in” long enough to hear.
    – Promotions and business opportunities / connections may pass you by because people didn’t realize you were the “best fit”.
    – People will mistakenly believe you are not knowledgeable or confident and not give you credit for what you say or buy in to your ideas.

This could really cost you …

… and it’s preventable!

If you learn to speak clearly, confidently, and with impact, people will listen longer … be energized by your words rather than “tired out” and listen longer. This allows you time to create buy in, loyalty, support, and confidence.

It’s the reason people work on their speech, clarity, delivery, voice quality, and presence.

Check out our programs and read our articles and watch our videos.

Contact us for a consult!

-Rebecca Linquist & Bud Everts

Questions You Can Ask

So what kinds of questions can you ask strangers at a public gathering when networking? I would suggest that the biggest goal is not to offend anyone. So, steering away from any comments about clothing or weight or jobs is probably a good idea. Why? Because you could insult someone by talking about those things if you make a mistake. Classic in American culture is asking a woman who looks pregnant if she’s having a boy or a girl. She may be overweight and not pregnant (very embarrassing). She may not want to disclose the gender of her child or believe in not finding on in advance. Or she may not want to share this information with a stranger. You never know, so don’t bring it up.

You have to careful with clothing. If you compliment someone, the person may think you are “coming on to them” … that is, looking for a date or a hook-up. Especially if you aren’t sure about your “delivery” or how to say things in English well, definitely steer clear of these traps. Asking about someone’s job could send any one of many negative messages: you want their job, you are making fun of them for not having a good job, you are prying into their business for your own gain, maybe to sell something to them. None of this is good. Steer clear!

Instead, ask questions about: the event you are both attending (something you have in common). Talk about the parking situation. Ask what’s for lunch. Pose a problem like: “I’m a vegetarian. I wonder if there will be something I can eat at break time. What do they usually have?”

Notice how I’m providing context in the questions. You don’t just a question out of the blue like: “What’s this event on p.6 of the brochure?” Not unless you are asking an employee there. If you are making small talk with another attendee, make it more personal like this, “Last time I was here, I missed the presentation on advanced problem solving techniques. I see they are offering in the green room at 2 pm. What do you think of the topic?”

As you can tell, you can have a lot of fun with this if you do a little preparation on topics before you attend!

The Complexity of Indian Accents in American English

Not everyone from India has the same accent, so what’s important to think about when identifying what to focus on to create clear speech?

Here are some things to consider:

1. Some people from India are English-medium schooled. Some are not.
What’s the difference? Some people in India speak their first languages in school to learn math, science, and many other subjects. They also take an English class. That may be the only exposure the person has to English. So while they know some English, students who are not English-medium schooled, don’t speak it daily. This is very different from someone who is English-medium schooled.  This means the person learned English from a very young age and took all of their subjects in English … BIG DIFFERENCE! A good question to ask someone from India is “Were you English-medium-schooled and if so, from what age?”


2. Many people from India speak with tense articulation, which might make their speech sound fast.
If you consider that most people from India have had more exposure to British English, this makes sense. If you combine British articulation with some of the articulation patterns found in many of the Indian languages, you’ll find that none of these languages jaw-drop the way American do, so no wonder their speech is going at a fast clip! Speech from a tense jaw is faster than speech made while dropping the jaw (it just takes longer to jaw drop).


3. Complexity & Variety
If you count all of them (major and other), there are over 1700 languages in India. Not surprising, then, that there is some variety in speech patterns. I find southern Indian language speakers have some of the most challenging issues when attempting to make an American /r/ (compared to speakers of other Indian languages). Contrary to what we might think, not everyone from India speaks Hindi; some people who speak Telugu or Tamil don’t speak Hindi much, if at all. I also notice a tendency among those who speak southern Indian languages (like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada or Malayalam) to struggle more with word stress in English. Compared to northerners/north-westerners who speak Punjabi, Gujarati, Marati, or Hindi, they tend to have more difficulty knowing which syllable to stress and then being able to elongate that syllable reliably. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. There are those from other parts of India, like the eastern regions, who speak Oriya and Bengali, and have trouble distinguishing /s/ and /sh/ and /ch/ and /j/, for example. Add to all of that complexity that many people from India speak multiple Indian languages or have been exposed at an early age to relatives who do, so they may speak with a variety of characteristics from different influences.


4. What to do about it?
If someone from India is having challenges speaking American English clearly at a comfortable pace, they may need to familiarize themselves with the vowels Americans use … they may be using British vowels, or some combination of vowels from their first languages and British vowels, and they are not aware of the vowel substitutions. They may also speak at a faster pace than American audiences are used to, and they may not pause and breathe as they go. They may have a lot of issues with the /w/ and /v/ sound distinctions, and their /th/ sounds make sound like /t/’s. Their /t/ sounds may have little bouncy/poppy qualities and they may be using a different part of their tongues to make the sounds. They may also be throaty speakers. And, for southern languages in particular, word stress patterns in American English and how to stress syllables by elongating them is key to intelligibility.


With some in-depth inquiry into specifically what Indian first-language speakers are doing differently and what they may find challenging, it’s possible to pinpoint what to work on to help them communicate with clarity in American English.

Monitoring Your Body Tension

Just like changing our timing to control our speed (or rate of speech), we also need to work on our degree of body tension when we want to sound more fluid and less tense.

One of the reasons non-native speakers speak with excess tension is they try very hard to say words (and make sounds) correctly, but they frequently don’t monitor how much effort they are using, so they may not be aware that they are using more tension than needed to make a sound.


Excess Tension:

All this excess tension often goes into the back, shoulders, neck, and other vulnerable areas, creating pain and discomfort, and also making our speech overly controlled, less fluid or free flowing, and tense-sounding.

Since most people want to sound natural, confident, and comfortable when they speak, all this tension is a deterrent. It can get in the way of effective speech. There’s no reason not to minimize this tension, but most people aren’t even aware they have it, much less that it affects their delivery. Instead, people try “harder” to speak “better,” often creating even more tension.


Awareness & Change:

Knowing your tension is affecting your speech is the first step, and then each of us needs to learn how to maximize our focus and attention to key/challenging sounds without creating additional (unnecessary) tension.

Awareness really is the key here because once you can feel tension and  monitor it, you can change it. Learning to release excess tension where you don’t need it and place it where you do (such as in the spine and tongue) helps non-native speakers begin to “let go” into the sounds and be more native-like in their delivery.

3 Important Mindset Shifts: Resistance to Change in Speech & Accent

Most of us have some resistance to changing ourselves, even if we genuinely desire better results. If you can identify your limiting mindsets, you can change them and accelerate achieving your goals.

In working with Speech & Accent, I find these are the mindsets that if “reframed” help clients succeed:

Mindset #1: I have to be perfect.
Examples of self-talk: I did it wrong. I made a mistake. What’s the “right” way to say it?

Reframe to: I’m curious why I say it differently … what is the difference exactly? (look for patterns). I’m going to create change one step at a time. It’s ok to say it “my way” and then the “American way” and some of the patterns will stick, and I’ll achieve a noticeable improvement.


Mindset #2: I’ll never get this.
Examples of self-talk: I’ve lived here for 20 years and still can’t say it right. It’s too hard. I’ll never remember this. I’m too old to learn this.

Reframe to: If I focus on muscle movement and muscle memory, my breathing, and my patterns, I can create noticeable and lasting change.


Mindset #3: This is a difficult thing to do.
Examples of self-talk: How can I remember all of this? Can I just write it down in my first language?

Reframe to: It’s all about how it feels. I don’t have to memorize anything. I’m going to be in the moment and experience the difference. My voice sounds great! I can do this!


It’s a mistake to think it’s just about being “positive.” That’s certainly part of it, but you have to be honest with yourself and make supportive comments to yourself that support change. If you believe you can do it, you can find a way. If you are always trying to be perfect and telling yourself it’s “hard”, you will create more tension patterns that prevent you from being successful. You have to trust the process, put in the effort, and then enjoy the results!

Open Ended Questions

When it comes to small talk, we’re often told to ask open-ended questions, and grammatically, that’s pretty easy to do. Asking questions that start with “Do you” or “Would you” are yes/no questions that will result in a dead–end typically rather than a full blown conversation. But open-ended questions can be dangerous too. Everyone’s biggest fear seems to be offending someone or doing something to make themselves uncomfortable, even awkward pauses and silence patches can be disconcerting. I read once that if you are going to a social event you should prepare for it by listening to the news or reading the newspaper so that you have a lot of talk about at the event if there is a small talk portion. There’s nothing worse than standing around not talking with strangers and trying to avoid eye contact so you don’t have to say anything.

I like questions that probe deeper on a “safe” topic that person mentioned or that seems to logically come to mind. If you are at a training event for program management, for example, you might make a comment and ask a question, like: “I heard this was a great event. What do you know about the program management strategies they usually talk about here?” I generally stick with questions that allow people to talk “beyond themselves” about anything related to the topic. It’s also a little too direct to say to someone, “Are you a program manager; what kind of work do you do?” Both because the person may not be one and could feel put on the spot, and also because the person may not want to disclose a lot of personal details about their life to you on a first pass. You can, of course, lead by talking a bit about what you do, but it’s usually best to get buy-in and interest first.

If you look at it as a game and compete with yourself to come up with good open-ended questions to ask, you could end up having a lot of fun at networking events.

How To Do This Work

Over the past 12 years doing Accent Reduction work full-time, I have learned that the “what” of the work is not the hard part for clients. People realize that they will have to work on challenging sounds, intonation, and word stress.

What’s much more challenging for people is the “how” of the work … that is, how do you apply yourself to actually change your speech as opposed to just doing a bunch of mindless exercises with isolated sounds and words?

That’s where people are different … but notice I didn’t say unique. That is, there are several different “kinds” of ways people are differently successful in this work.

Some people have a very specific goal. When you come to this work with one or two specific goals, it’s easier to be successful if you are busy person and your desire is less about getting a really great American accent and more about not having to repeat what you say or having your intent be misunderstood. You might realize the /r/ sound is really challenging for you, and you want clarity around that. You have difficulty knowing which /th/ sound to use (voiceless like “thanks” or voiced like “other”). That’s a specific goal. Wanting to sound better or fit in with your peers is not a specific goal (it’s a good start, but not specific enough if your are this type of person).

Some people have a very big general goal and the commitment to get there. If you realize success takes time and work, and you are fully committed to those things, you can also be successful in this work, but the long haul is the key. You realize you won’t finish the goal in a few weeks, but you set milestones and monitor your progress, and then you keep setting more, and you stay motivated, celebrate your successes, and take breaks before re-engaging. You never lose sight of your bigger, overarching goals. This works too! It doesn’t work if you are not that fully motivated and committed.

Some people do this work as a means to an end. If you are told by your boss that improving your accent 20% will get you a raise or promotion, and that’s what you want, then you will do it provided that you get the reward. That’s not a bad thing. It’s practical and will keep you on course. It’s also specific, but it’s less about your internal motivation and more about achieving the goal someone else has targeted for you. It’s ok as long as you’re ok with changing your accent (that is, it doesn’t bother you). Others will understand you better, and you get the raise or promotion. Win/win!

There are other ways in which people approach this work differently, but knowing what you want and having realistic goals for the level of motivation, effort, and commitment you put into it is important. Be honest with yourself.

The other part of the “how” is asking yourself to what degree do you “dive into the exercises” and to what degree do you spend time assessing where you are currently at each day? I encourage clients to spend far more time internally processing and assessing their habits, movements, and “go to” strategies over completing more exercises. Mindfulness is the key to change.

Jaw Dropping

If there’s one commonality all non-native speakers could focus on, it’s jaw dropping. Easier said than done. Most languages have more closed mouths and often tighter jaws. Even for Americans, tight jaws can occur (like TMJ) and clients may experience jaw clicking or even pain. Some dentists recommend night guards, and there are even massage techniques that can help. In general, though, a tight closed jaw given a person a stronger accent in American English.

You can hear it!
If you listen, you can hear when someone is not jaw dropping. Instead of extending the lower jaw, many non-native speakers hold the jaw closer, even squeezing the teeth together to make sounds. Not only does this make the jaw tighter, it also makes the sounds more “tense” (American English is “lax”), so the quality can be “speedy” or “harsh.”

To modify this you can do the following:

  • Practice dropping the jaw when you’re not saying anything … just drop the jaw slowing and mindfully, and it will get easier.
  • Identify which vowels have the greatest drop (*hint* hint* the long /a/ in “not” in one of them), and focus on really opening your mouth and dropping your jaw on those sounds
  • Notice which consonants are elongated with jaw dropping in English (commonly the -d, -l, and -n sounds are most notable) and drop consistently on those, elongating those sounds (record so you can monitor how you sound).

Jaw dropping is incredibly important if you desire an American Accent.

Small Talk

I’m often asked to help clients with small talk, and almost always, they are embarrassed about asking. It’s like they’re supposed to know how, and when they don’t, they aren’t comfortable announcing it. The truth small talk isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you think about it, talking to strangers for periods of time is likely to be a challenge for anyone, but especially someone who uses English instrumentally for work and grew up speaking another language used to personal relationships. Not only that, culturally, some places don’t really embrace small talk, so a lot of people don’t perfect those skills in any language.

How to get past it? It’s important to remember that even many Americans struggle with small talk. Not necessarily because they are shy (although that’s on reason). It could also be that they don’t know what to talk about or have not had good experiences bringing things up to strangers in the past. Let’s face it, some people just aren’t great at conversational speech out of context. So, how do you go about socializing with strangers and making small talk?

I like the concept of starting with “safe” subjects. What’s safe? The traditional advice of talking about the weather is never a bad choice. Everyone needs to know when a storm is brewing. There are also the cultural taboo topics of talking about death or politics or something either morbid or likely to cause people to be divisive, opinionated or to take sides. In the US, asking people how much they pay for things is also not considered a real polite thing to do, whereas many other cultures do this and seem to integrate it into politics.

Personally, I think safe topics are the ones people volunteer. If you hear someone talking about their dog, you can feel free to ask about it. However, you probably wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and ask if the person has a dog, although it wouldn’t be rude; it would just seem odd and may lead nowhere. When someone brings up a topic, they are at least suggesting an interest in it and a willingness to talk about it.

The good part is that once you start doing small talk and find out it’s not as scary as you thought, and you’re even starting to meet people, you’ll realize it’s not so intimidating and you’ll be able to plunge in and socialize until it gets more comfortable. Since strangers by definition don’t repeat themselves, you can discover what works for you and use it again next tme!

Does It Matter If You Have An Accent?

Clients are always asking me if it matters if they have accents. It’s a simple question, but no one seems to agree on the answer, least of all the “experts.” There are those who argue the only thing that matters is whether or not you can be understood. Intelligibility is everything. This resonates with people … why fix what’s not broken? But unfortunately, good enough isn’t always good enough. In the Silicon Valley, where I reside, there is tremendous competition for jobs, and if you’re qualified but not a great “speaker”, you can easily become disqualified.

The other problem is people aren’t always the best judges of their own competencies. I’ve had clients tell me they didn’t even realize they had a speech “problem” until someone confided in them that their speech was holding them back. I had a client in a senior position at a pharmaceutical company tell me her boyfriend was the first person to tell her that her speech was holding her back. She said none of her managers had ever said anything to her, but once she had “speech” on her radar, she began to notice many times where she was not as effective as she could have been because of how she communicated.

So, does accent matter? The sort answer is “yes” but people don’t always agree on how much or what to do about it. Some people even believe that “all accents are beautiful,” which sounds nice, but may not be very reassuring when you keep getting passed over for promotions!