Welcome to Daily Confidence for Entrepreneurs Show Episode 32.
In this episode, join my friend Lena Levinsky talk about how to Speak with Confidence.
Listen to the podcast here:
How to get over the fear of Public Speaking?
What are the 3 ways so people can speak with Clarity?
How to speak with Confidence?
7:23 – You have to work hard, the older you are, it’s a lot of practice but if you’re willing to put in the time, it’s doable for you to speak with clarity and confidence.
12:49 – Speech pathology is a huge umbrella of things that can help people with in terms of therapy.
21:55 – All these professional speakers out there that are appearing on stages in different places, they’ve had their failures in the world of speaking. You just have to learn and move forward.
25:56 – Don’t forget to breathe, it’s super important. Use simple language, then use your body language.
33:28 – I interview immigrants, first-generation, and world citizens who are successful and have some great stories that they’ve done in their lives to inspire the immigrant community to dream big, and pursue their passions in life, career, and business.
Mostafa Hosseini 0:02
Welcome to Daily Confidence for Entrepreneurs. My name is Mostafa Hosseini, your host for the show. At Daily Confidence for Entrepreneurs, we share tips and actionable advice that you can use daily to run your business and boost your confidence. One way that we help our viewers and our audience to boost their confidence when it comes to their business is to help them create their One-Page Marketing Plan or a simple marketing formula.
The next course that we are running is coming up this weekend from December 11th to 13th. If you want to create your One-Page Marketing Plan for 2021 and take the year to a whole new level, you could join us either in December or January using a link in the description of the show or the comments of the show and join us.
During the interview, I’ve got an amazing guest and a great topic today. We are going to be giving away gifts and you enter your name into the draw for winning initial gifts if you like, subscribe, comment, ask a question, tag a friend and stay engaged during the conversation. My guest today is Lena Levinsky. Welcome, Lena.
Lena Levinsky 1:26
Hi Mostafa. Thanks for having me.
Mostafa Hosseini 1:28
Great to have you with us. Our topic today is how to speak with confidence. It’s great to have you here.
Lena Levinsky 1:38
Thank you. I am so excited to be here.
Mostafa Hosseini 1:40
Let me do the proper introduction with Lena and then we are going to get started with this great topic of speaking with confidence which is a big problem for many people, including entrepreneurs.
Lena Levinsky is a Polish American entrepreneur who moved to the US shortly after her 15th birthday. She is a speech-language pathologist, accent coach, podcast host, blogger, and a content creator.
Lena is the hostess of The Accented World podcast which aims to inspire the immigrant community to dream big and follow their passion in life, career, and business. She’s an avid traveler having visited 33 countries today. Wow, that’s amazing. Lena lives in New York with her husband and rescue pup Luna. Welcome, Lena.
Lena Levinsky 2:33
Thank you so much.
Mostafa Hosseini 2:35
How’s your day going so far?
Lena Levinsky 2:36
Oh, it’s busy. I’m in New York and we got some snow today so that was cool. First snow of the year.
Mostafa Hosseini 2:43
We got some snow here in Calgary Alberta up in Canada. It’s been warm for the past couple of weeks which is very rare for this time of year. So warm that actually the ice on the lakes are usually frozen, but the other day we went out of town here and when we were walking on ice on the lakes, the top layer melted.
Lena Levinsky 3:12
Wow. Things are changing. That is very strange. It’s been very warm here too. It’s unusual.
Mostafa Hosseini 3:23
Ready for the holidays?
Lena Levinsky 3:25
I am. Well, I’m already trying to buy some gifts so I’m not running at the last minute. I usually keep it for a last-minute kind of thing. Then I’m just running around to get some gifts so I’m trying to prepare ahead of time even though this year it’s going to be a little bit different but exciting.
Mostafa Hosseini 3:49
Nice. We’re going to start a lockdown here on Monday.
Lena Levinsky 3:54
Lena Levinsky 4:11
I know California is already shut down. New York hasn’t quite yet, but I’m sure it’s coming as well.
Mostafa Hosseini 4:19
Lena, what is your story?
Lena Levinsky 4:25
Like you said in the introduction, I moved to the US from Poland at almost 15 years old. When I moved here, I spoke English but just basically what I learned in school, so not very much. Then I ended up going to a high school where nobody spoke my language. I had to almost fight to survive. So I had to learn English as quickly as I could so that I could be in school and make some friends. I did that pretty quickly.
Luckily, I was able to learn within a few months, and then maybe within a year or two, I modified my accent, by kind of unconsciously, just because I wanted to fit in with my friends, I wanted to fit in with the New York society. That’s what I did and eventually, I ended up going to school for speech pathology, which I’m still doing, and work as a speech pathologist, mostly with kids now.
But as a speech pathologist I found out, I didn’t actually know this when I went to school, that you can work on accent modification. You can help people speak with confidence and work on their accents so that they can speak with clarity. That was something that I was always passionate about given my story. This is something that I do now in my business.
I help people to speak English with clarity and confidence, because I think it’s so important, considering it’s already difficult enough when you move to another country and to add on delay or have a new language and then if you speak it, and you’re not understood, it’s so frustrating, you can’t have much done. It’s something I’m very passionate about, especially given my history. That’s my story in a nutshell.
Mostafa Hosseini 6:18
I went through that as an immigrant too. When I first got here, within the first year or two, I went to McDonald’s in downtown Calgary. My English was not good so when I was trying to order fries, a kid at the tail started making fun of me. What happened was, I walked out of that place and said, this is not gonna happen again. I started working on my English because I said to myself, well, I’m gonna live here, I got to be able to communicate with people speaking English as that’s the language here. Then I started really studying English and working on my language skills.
Lena Levinsky 7:12
How old were you when you moved here?
Mostafa Hosseini 7:14
I was 18 years old.
Lena Levinsky 7:17
Do you have barely any accent?
Mostafa Hosseini 7:22
I worked hard on it.
Lena Levinsky 7:23
Well, that’s the thing. Some people think you can just speak super fluently, or almost like a native just by doing practice here and there. You have to work hard. The older you are, it’s a lot of practice but if you’re willing to put in the time, it’s totally doable for you to speak with clarity and confidence.
I would never say don’t think of reaching for the goal of speaking like a native, it’s a great goal especially if you’re not born here and when you come to a country where you speak English as a first language. When you’re older, you can still speak beautifully. You can be the best version of yourself, whatever that means as long as you put in the work.
Mostafa Hosseini 8:09
Got it. Is it true that if you get older, it’s going to be harder, or is that a myth?
Lena Levinsky 8:15
It’s true. You lose plasticity. Your brain is plastic where you can learn new things and it’s the most plastic when you are young. The older you get, it loses that plasticity so it’s harder for you to learn new things and build those connections. It’s still doable, but easier when you’re younger. I would suggest doing it as soon as possible for everybody.
Mostafa Hosseini 8:42
I’m thinking that there might be exceptions to people that are maybe older, and they still pull it off.
Lena Levinsky 8:49
For sure because everybody is so different. Even you can compare one person, same age, same-sex, same upbringing, and yet they might still have different abilities. Some people have such talent for languages, so it’s easier for them but for the majority of people, the older you get, the harder it is.
Mostafa Hosseini 9:14
Did you have a similar story to mine where you did not maybe feel good about your interaction with others and was there like an onset or a story or something behind this whole piece that you’re working on?
Lena Levinsky 9:32
For me, it was mostly about the constant feeling of not fitting in, because I was almost 15 so it’s a very vulnerable age. It was technically the first time I was out of the immediate countries around Poland, which are pretty similar to Poland. I came across the ocean to the States for the first time and I’m supposed to stay here.
So I just was desperate to fit in because once I started to make American friends, and they started to correct me all the time, or they started to tell me you sound cute, that was cute what you said, that’s not a confidence booster, because you constantly feel worse than somebody else.
To me, that was the reason because I didn’t want to be different from my friends. I was so young and I just didn’t want to stand out and that’s the biggest motivation for me but I didn’t do it on purpose. To be honest, I didn’t want to send it out but I did it without thinking about it.
I started to practice without a plan or without being like, “Oh, this is what I’m going to do every Friday or every five days a week, I’m going to practice.” It wasn’t like that but It was just kind of subconscious.
Mostafa Hosseini 10:49
You were just constantly working on it.
Lena Levinsky 10:50
Mostafa Hosseini 10:52
Interesting. You’re an accent coach and you do a few different things. How did you end up choosing this path?
Lena Levinsky 11:06
I’m so passionate about it. The whole accent modification kind of fell into my lap when I went to speech pathology school. I didn’t go there for that reason but it turned out that it was part of the profession. I was like, well, this is perfect.
When I was in graduate school, I was the supervising student running the accent modification clinic at my school. I worked with so many people from abroad like professors, and students. It warmed my heart to work with these people because they reminded me of me, my friend, and my family who still struggle with some of these things so it was really something that I wanted to do.
It was kind of serendipitous in a way that it was part of my profession so I could do it. Professionally, I can do it well. I can take you from point A to B on how to do it.
Mostafa Hosseini 12:06
Very interesting. So, you went to school for pathology?
Lena Levinsky 12:11
Speech Pathology. Yes, Speech Therapy. It’s how people call it.
Mostafa Hosseini 12:15
Yes. Is your main focus now on Accents?
Lena Levinsky 12:21
In my business, my focus is on Accents. This is something that I want to focus on because I feel I have the knowledge and experience to help. Since this is something that I’ve been focusing on lately. But at work, because I still work as well in the field, my main focus is on feeding.
Mostafa Hosseini 12:47
What do you mean?
Lena Levinsky 12:49
Speech pathology is a huge umbrella of things that we can help people with in terms of therapy. One of those things that not a lot of people know about is swallowing issues and feeding issues.
Feeding issues are typical with kids who don’t want to eat for various reasons, or they’re not allowed to eat for various reasons. Their main way of getting their nutrition, hydration is through a G tube, or a G tube that goes through their nose or to go straight to their stomach.
I work with these kids to try to get them off the tube so that they can eat by mouth or I work with kids who are very picky with what they eat and try to broaden their selection. You include things that are healthy because a lot of kids love chicken nuggets, that’s for sure.
So you want to try and include vegetables, fruits, and a broader selection so you can have them eat dinner with you. There’s a lot that you can do but this is basically what I’ve been focusing on working with these kids anywhere from infants who are bottle-fed to older kids.
Mostafa Hosseini 14:05
Well, I didn’t know that it’s such a vast topic and area to work in. There are lots to do there. Now you run your business, you work in a field. I’m pretty sure that a lot of entrepreneurs, especially immigrant entrepreneurs, have issues with their language.
Statistically, immigrants are a lot more likely to actually start a business because they are more hungry when they come in. They come to the promised land, Canada, the US, or anywhere to start a business for the dream that they’re after. Then they start a business but there could be blockages such as language and all that.
How did you end up getting rid of your fear of being out there and getting yourself exposed?
Lena Levinsky 15:04
I used to be frantically afraid of public speaking like you talk sweating, stuttering, and red in the face. It was horrible for me. I just went in deep from the beginning and not on purpose but I feel like a lot of the things I do, don’t happen on purpose.
Then I got a position at school when I was a Resident Assistant, I don’t know if you know what that is. The dorms in the US, where you live at college, have students who assist the other students. For example, my campus was dry, so you can’t drink so you kind of like patrolling the building in a way like you do a lot of things to assist the students.
I did that and because I was an RA, I had residences that were chosen. I had to do meetings for my floor for my residents who I was in charge of.
That was the first thing that I did that took me out of my shell because I would have to speak in front of whoever showed up, like 20 to 50 people and I had to present things then get involved with them.
For me, I started deep so this isn’t a small step. I feel because you can take small steps or a big step, it started to peel the layers of my fear. That was the first thing that I did.
Then once you go to school and you present and put yourself out there, the more you do it, the more you realize that this isn’t the worst thing. You can share your story, share something valuable, help somebody else who might be just as afraid as you so it’s a pretty neat thing.
Once I started my podcast, that was it. Initially, I was so afraid because you’re kind of in front of a mic and you never really know who you’re talking to. You put yourself out there. After the first few episodes, I felt this was fine. If I could do this, I can do anything. So that was what happened for me.
Mostafa Hosseini 17:23
What I’m getting is you just put yourself out there. Then you’ve won once you went through it. You say that it is not as bad as I thought. With some practice, I guess you got better.
Do you have any suggestions or any other tips or tricks or techniques for people that are afraid of that, that they could use?
Lena Levinsky 17:49
Well, start small. I always think you can start even in the mirror. Just talking to yourself and getting that feedback. Looking at yourself, you say, “I’m doing this, I’m talking, this is not so bad, I can see myself, I can do this, I have something to say I have a message to share.”
I think starting in your mirror, even though sometimes it’s hard because we don’t like to look at ourselves, or we don’t like to hear our voice, is one of the good ways to start. Just by taking that first tiny step, start there, and then you’ll see where that takes you.
If you have really good friends or a family member that you trust and feel comfortable with, but I wouldn’t do it with people you don’t feel comfortable with, you can start with them and do a little talk for them. It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes, it can be like literally one minute. You can start with 30 seconds, your talk could be about yourself and what you did today, or what you plan to do this weekend.
Make it not a conversational manner but in a presentational manner and then get their feedback. They could tell you like you didn’t move your hands very much, you were red in the face, breathe, they can give you some feedback of what to do. So, I think starting small is fine as long as you start. Just do it and just show up somehow.
Mostafa Hosseini 19:22
The other thing I would add is recording yourself on video and watching yourself like you don’t even need other people in the first stages. Watch how you deliver, the movements of your body, your face, and the whole thing.
Lena Levinsky 20:33
The more you practice, the more you learn and the more permanent connection you make within your brain, where then it becomes second nature.
Mostafa Hosseini 21:55
I think there’s always that learning curve as well where there is going to be sometimes where you’re not comfortable. It’s part of the process.
All these pro speakers and all the professionals out there that are appearing on stages in different places, they’ve had their failures in the world of speaking. You just have to learn and move forward.
Lena Levinsky 22:39
You can’t have success without failure. Nobody has ever been born a perfect speaker, or with the perfect confidence to go through life.
Lena Levinsky 25:56
Don’t forget to breathe, it’s super important. Use simple language, then use your body language.
Mostafa Hosseini 26:04
Put space and breathe in between then use some gaps in silence to let people digest information.
I guess, one thing that we say in the marketing world is to make sure that people and that your language passes the five-year-old test, which means a five-year-old must understand what it is that you were talking about as people don’t know your internal industry lingo especially abbreviations or big words that they have to think.
Lena Levinsky 27:01
When I started my blog, I used to use the speech pathology lingo. I showed it to somebody and they said, “What are you talking about?” I was writing a work report. You have to just be chill about what you’re saying and about what you’re writing. Just use your everyday words
Mostafa Hosseini 27:24
To help yourself, relax, and deliver.
Lena Levinsky 27:27
Mostafa Hosseini 27:30
I understand you are sharing a gift with our audience?
Lena Levinsky 27:33
Yes, I have a Mini Guide to Speak English with Clarity and Confidence that I’m giving away. I don’t know if you need the link or the address for that.
Mostafa Hosseini 27:46
The link is already sitting on our site. For those of you who are watching or listening if you want to access Lena’s gift, go to dailyconfidence.show/gifts. Then the instructions are there. The link again is dailyconfidence.show/gifts. Can you reiterate what the gift was again, please?
Lena Levinsky 28:11
It’s a Mini Guide to Speak English for Clarity and Confidence. So it gives you the really basic introduction into accent modification and it gives you some exercises that you can do right at home so you can really modify your language. Work on it in 20 minutes a day or less and it doesn’t have to be extensive. It’s just knowing what to do so this guide will put you in the right direction.
Mostafa Hosseini 28:37
Lena, what are some of your favorite books that you recommend to business owners?
Lena Levinsky 28:45
This one is pretty new, Marie Forleo’s Everything Is Figureoutable. Have you heard of that one?
Mostafa Hosseini 28:52
Everything Is Figureoutable. No, I haven’t heard of it.
Lena Levinsky 29:00
Marie Forleo is a rock star in the business world. She does B School, which is an online course. It’s like a business course. She takes you through anything like profit planning in your business, marketing, writing copy, things like that. It’s a really great course and then she wrote this book.
So it’s all about how you can figure anything out in life and in business. I really think it’s amazing because it also gives you some exercises you can do to really get your ideas down and set you on the right path of things.
Mostafa Hosseini 29:38
Everything Figureoutable. What else do you get for us in terms of books that you like or recommend?
Lena Levinsky 29:44
I also love Do Less by Kate Northrup which is all about the idea of doing less to achieve more. So do laugh at me and all that and he’s funny all the way. You know, really setting up things in motion so that you don’t have to be present all the time in your business and life.
I love that it goes back to Tim Ferriss, and those kinds of books. So I just think it’s so brilliant and it gives me such hope in life that you can do less to achieve more. It’s incredible. I love her.
Mostafa Hosseini 30:20
My last question is always this: if you had a Facebook ad that everyone on the planet could see, what would your message be?
Lena Levinsky 30:33
That’s a really good one and that’s just one message. I’m between just believing in yourself, or just being yourself because once you are yourself, and I know this sounds cliche, that’s when amazing things happen.
Stop hiding behind some idea of perfection that you might find on social media, or stop hiding behind an idea of another person that you’re comparing yourself to. Just be yourself and be great at that. Be great at being yourself.
Mostafa Hosseini 31:13
What do you mean real quick, by being yourself? What does that look like in your world?
Lena Levinsky 31:21
Acceptance, I think that’s a huge thing. Accepting who you are, as opposed to trying to change yourself constantly. Looking back into your childhood and your life, and doing any kind of unblocking, that is keeping you from being good with yourself or being happy.
I always believe that things happen to us in life that shapes us and they can continue to shape us as we’re adults. Whether you have blocks or traumatic events that happened to you when you were younger, I always believe that you should be yourself and step into your greatness per se.
You have to look back and do some unblocking and some healing for whatever you went through because nobody had a perfect childhood. Nobody had a perfect life growing up. If they say they had it, then that’s just complete lies. I think looking back and doing that, you can be yourself. I don’t know if this answers your question.
Mostafa Hosseini 32:27
That’s good. It’s a broad topic and we have another couple of hours on that. I love the idea of being yourself and accepting yourself and self-acceptance. As I believe that self-acceptance and self-awareness bring out confidence in business owners and everybody. They can then do what they want to do in their life.
Lena Levinsky 32:53
Especially if you’re a business owner, and you’re not yourself, people are going to see through you. They’re going to see that pattern very quickly. If you’re not authentic, I don’t want to say that it is not going to sell, but you’re not going to make connections with other people. But if you’re not being yourself and you’re being somebody else, then that’s not going to work.
Mostafa Hosseini 33:18
Got it. Lena, is there anything that I should have asked that you feel you want to share with the audience that we didn’t talk about or I didn’t ask?
Lena Levinsky 33:28
You asked me some great questions. Maybe I can talk briefly about my podcast. That’d be okay? My podcast is called The Accented World. I interview immigrants, first-generation, and world citizens who are successful and have some great stories that they’ve done in their lives to inspire the immigrant community to dream big, and pursue their passions in life, career, and business.
They think if they can see that the immigrant role, sometimes is perceived as very stereotypical in some places. People come and they just do labor work. They don’t contribute much and they stay speaking their language. That’s the furthest thing from what immigration is.
Immigration is so beautiful, where you move to another country and you can bring so much from yourself and a lot of people adapt to the culture differently. They can bring a lot to the table. I wanted to show off or share these incredible stories not only to inspire others or the community, which is my main goal but to also kind of change the notion of immigration and what it is, to open people’s eyes to what immigration stands for.
Mostafa Hosseini 34:57
I love what you’re doing there. This show that we’re on, the initial thing that I was working on was making it about immigrants. I almost started a course about confidence for immigrants and because I had such a passion for it, I see a lot of immigrants that come to Canada, the US, or other countries and they haven’t quite found their place in the society. They have these blockages with their confidence with language with a whole bunch of different things and there are communication barriers with them and society.
I was very passionate about that and I still am because a lot of immigrants have that drive and the internal fire if you will, that they want to get things done. They want to create that dream and the lifestyle that they envisioned and they are very likely to take action when the proper guidance is there. I like what you’re doing.
Where can people find out more about you and your podcast?
Lena Levinsky 36:22
You can go to my website at Lenalivinsky.com/podcast.
Mostafa Hosseini 36:41
I lost your sound for a second and I don’t know if it was me or can you hear me?
Lena Levinsky 36:50
My mic got muted. I don’t know why.
Mostafa Hosseini 36:53
What was the website again?
Lena Levinsky 36:58
Lenalivinski.com/podcast. It’s right there or you can go on Instagram. Find me at Lena Levinsky or the Accented World podcast.
Mostafa Hosseini 37:11
Could you spell that out for people that are listening, please?
Lena Levinsky 37:14
I’m gonna have to write it. This is one thing I cannot spell out loud, I have to write it down then I can spell it for you. A-C-C-E-N-T-E-D-W-O-R-L-D podcast pod-c-a-s-t. My name is Lena Levinsky.
Mostafa Hosseini 37:39
Got it. Lena, pleasure chatting with you, I love what you’re up to helping with their speaking, and their confidence with their speech. I think it’s mostly about internal work as well and I’d like and appreciate that.
As a guy that worked on that very topic for a good 20 years, I’m also passionate about it. If there’s any way, shape, or form that I can help, please let me know. I really appreciate your time and your feedback.
Lena Levinsky 38:12
Thank you so much. I can’t wait to have you on my show very soon.
Mostafa Hosseini 38:15
I appreciate that as well. Thank you.
Lena Levinsky 38:18
Thank you for having me. This was so fun.
Mostafa Hosseini 38:21
Likewise. For those of you who are watching or listening, the New Year is coming up. One way that we help our audience and people that we work with to boost their confidence is by simplifying their business in their marketing on one page and creating a One-Page Marketing Plan through our course Simple Marketing Formula.
The problem that will be solved is the fact that most coaches, consultants, and experts are poking around at different tools, systems, software programs, and whatnot, without seeing consistent results because they’ve got their head in 12 different things and nothing is usually working.
Why don’t we simplify everything, get it to work, and create a plan that you can use to grow and scale your business in 2021? I’m gonna put the link again in the chat box. The link if you’re listening is persyo.com. that’s Persyo.com/join-smf. SMF that’s Simple Marketing Formula. Check it out, the link is in the comments and it’s going to be in the show description.
So we’ll include Lena’s gifts in there as well as the gift link and if you want to get access to Lena’s gift, go to dailyconfidence.show/gift and the instructions are in there.
Thank you for joining us and hope to see you and I guess check in with you on our next episode. Again, if you want to enter the draw for winning the gifts from either us or our speakers, you need to like, subscribe, comment, and write a review about our show either on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or anywhere that you’re listening or watching to this show and you enter your name for the drop.
My name is Mostafa Hosseini and thank you very much for joining us. Thank you Lena again for your amazing contribution. Thank you. Bye now.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE SHOW:
- A Mini Guide to Speaking English with Clarity and Confidence: How to Improve Your Accent in 20 minutes a Day or Less. Gift from Lena Levinsky
- Accented World Podcast
- Everything Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
- Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Ambitious Women by Kate Northrup
- Simple Marketing Formula Boot Camp
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