The Secret Advantage of a Non-Native Speaker's Coach

In this post I will discuss the value of a NON-mother tongue speaker's coach (like me) to achieve speaking excellence. This is important for all speakers and event organisers who want to deliver talks that are understandable by a broad international audience.

By choosing a non-mother tongue with a great command of English and the knowledge of several other languages, the speakers manage to understand the impact of their use of idiomatic words and constructions on the efficacy of their message.

As a British-Italian myself, who grew up with Italian as mother tongue and later learned to speak Spanish at mother tongue level, I had the chance to coach English speakers and offer them a novel perspective on their language that made them better speakers and communicators.

Grammar to expand the choice for speakers

The coach’s knowledge of grammar is obviously essential. It also becomes a plus when considering that for many native speakers grammar is not necessarily part of their explicit knowledge. Quite often native speakers, in any language, speak correctly without knowing why.

The additional layer of grammar knowledge brought in by the non-mother tongue coach allows speakers to become much more aware of what they say and how they say it. Often the coach recognises improper uses of words and constructs that might be part of colloquial English without being grammatically correct, and the speaker can then choose which one to use.

Listening with a foreign ear

A foreign ear spots the parts which might be difficult to understand for a global audience. The coach can tell the speaker how their message is being perceived, which allows again an additional level of choice.

Besides perception, a foreign ear can also spot issues with the intelligibility of the message. Using too difficult words or constructs may dramatically reduce the audience's ability to understand the message, or even worse, to make them mis-understand it. As a side effect, when a speech is difficult to understand, people tend to tune out quite quickly.

Providing a broad perspective

Finally, a non native speaking coach provides a broader perspective. How would another culture say the same thing? Where would another culture place the emphasis? And why is this different from English?

Most likely the speaker will decide to stick to good English, but even so might decide to choose to express their ideas in a way that relates better to the predominant culture in an audience.


Public speaking is an art and coaching speakers is a great opportunity to help them shape their art in the best possible way. So that their speech reflects what they want to share, while at the same time making it the most accessible to audiences across the world.

I’ve coached dozens of TEDx speakers and business leaders as a non native speaker myself, always with great results and deep appreciation from the speakers. If you want to explore how you too can take advantage of a multi-lingual coach, contact me! Parliamone! ¡Hablamos!

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And if you feel ready to work one-to-one with me reach out for a 20' discovery chat with me (in English, Spanish or Italian.)