Springtime Challenge: Grow a Speech Garden

People who love gardening often spend all winter planning what they’ll grow in the spring. They pore over seed catalogs and websites, plot out their flower or vegetable beds on paper, and put aside money for new plants, mulch, and all the other necessary materials to make their garden beautiful and prosperous.

Have you ever thought about tending to your speech the way you’d tend to a garden?

Well, I’m issuing you a challenge!

Springtime Challenge

For Better Hearing and Speech month, we’re talking about how your communication takes care… the kind of care that would go into the planning and maintenance of a lush and healthy garden.

What does it look like to “grow a speech garden” with care?

Identify The Weeds

Any gardener knows that weeds will take over your garden in no time if left to grow! They become harder to uproot as they get bigger. The same is true for your speech: an unhelpful sound left unchecked will make you harder to understand, and will take more work to “unlearn” the longer you continue to use it.

Feed the Healthy Plants!Garden beds need nutrients in the form of fertilizer or compost – and of course watering – to ensure healthy plants and growth. Your American accent can benefit from similar care… so practice the sounds you know are working.

Introduce New SpecimensGardeners are always looking to include new specimens in their gardens – perhaps an heirloom vegetable variety they’ve never grown, or an exciting new hybrid of their favorite flower. When your correct sounds become strong enough that you don’t have to focus on them as much anymore, you can more easily introduce the next batch of sounds that need more work.

So, how do you know which sounds to focus on?

In this video from awhile back, I explain more about how your clear speech is like a garden you must maintain, and how important an individual speech coach or listener is.

And I also want to encourage you to join me for my 8­-week online clear speech course that starts June 9!

This course will tackle exactly what we’re talking about with your “speech garden”… identifying the sounds that give you trouble, practicing the correct sounds, individual attention from a speech pathologist (me, of course!), and listening and support from others who are also growing their “speech garden.”

Speaking and Learning Together

All the course information is right here, so don’t miss this opportunity to change the course of your speech this spring! Just like a garden that produces a bountiful autumn harvest, you can be speaking more clearly by this fall after my 8-week course.

And after you reserve your spot, you can bring a friend for free!

Working with a friend will help you both better tend to your speech gardens.

I hope you take this “Speech Garden Challenge” and commit to working on your American accent this spring… and I hope to see you June 9 for my “Speaking and Learning Together” accent reduction course!

Episode #14: American Accent: What’s Growing in Your Speech Garden?



Are you tending your Speech Garden?

Yesterday, I spent a glorious afternoon enjoying the first day of spring by working in the yard and planting the first vegetables of the year in my backyard garden. Unlike many people, I actually enjoy pulling weeds. I think it’s the satisfaction I get of seeing how much better the garden looks afterwards! Also, I know that weeding gives the plants I’m trying to grow a much better chance of becoming strong and healthy.

What about you? Do you like to grow a vegetable or flower garden? What about a speech garden?

Have you ever thought about your American accent as being like a garden? The better you tend it, feeding and watering it and pulling the weeds of unnecessary speech patterns, the stronger and more beautiful your speech garden becomes!

So, here’s my spring challenge to you.

Take some time to care for your speech garden this year.

What aspects of your speech need tended to so they can grow? You know that certain areas of your American accent are good — maybe grammar and vocabulary. But you also know that with a little practice, or a little feeding and watering, those areas could be even better.

Do you have some unhealthy “weeds” in your speech patterns? Maybe these are sounds that make your speech difficult for others to understand. If you could just “weed out”, or get rid of, a few of those pesky sounds, your speech would be much clearer.

How much better will your speech garden look in a few months if you take the time to plan for its growth right now?

What will you do to get rid of the weeds and ensure the healthy growth of your speech garden?

Sometimes, weeds can look a lot like a healthy plant, especially in the beginning. It can be difficult to figure out which ones to keep and which ones to pull and throw away. Often, the best way to figure it out is to ask someone who can identify those weeds and show you which ones to get rid of .

If you are looking for someone to identify the “weeds” that need to be pulled from your speech to improve your American accent, I would love to show you. Together, we can grow a beautiful speech garden for you! We’ll identify all the strong, healthy plants that need to stay as well as the unhelpful weeds that need to go.

Spring is the perfect time to get your speech garden growing well. I’ll help you eliminate the weeds that need to go, and I’ll provide you with practice materials that are the food to strengthen the sounds you want to keep in your American accent. We’ll walk through your speech garden every week to be sure that everything is growing as planned.

By fall, you will be amazed at the wonderful, bounteous garden of American speech that you have been able to grow!

I can’t wait to get started! Are you ready to join me?

Click here to get your free Accent Screening and start growing your speech garden today!