Designing a formula to communicate with confidence online


As a non-native speaker, you may need a “formula” to help you communicate more succinctly, and the beauty of the net is you can have the formula in front of you as notes without anyone knowing you are using a formula. This is how it could work.

Let’s say you need to suggest an idea you expect resistance to. It’s very important to you, but perhaps not to others, at least they haven’t mentioned it, and it’s important to you. You might use this formula:

  2. Interrupt with: “I have a thought I’d like to share.”
  3. Structure it with context first: “Last year we had some issues with delivery when we had a similar deadline.”
  4. Anticipate resistance/get buy-in: “I know some of you didn’t feel the impact of this, but those of us in the design group had to revisit this project multiple times, and I believe there’s a better way for all of us.”
  5. Clarify the idea: “What I suggest is…. It could work like this… these are the benefits/reasons it would work… this is how we could do it.”
  6. Ask questions with intention: “I’m interested in saving all of us time in the next phase of this project as we approach delivery. I’d like to hear what the rest of you think. Do you see this as a workable solution? Is it something you could embrace/endorse?”
  7. If resistance, ask more questions: “I can understand your point. What do you think of… would you consider X… what about Y… how about if we….?”
  8. Suggest a plan: “Great discussion today! I suggest we do this next in preparation for the upcoming deadline.”

Just having a plan is helpful to guide you along the way and keep the focus on what you intend to do. You can add wording, pronunciation of challenge words, or other items that will help you during the meeting. The “formula” is like a “cheat sheet” to insure you stay on track.

If you’d like more helping communicate as a non-native speaker of American English, let us know! We can coach you through the challenges you face!