Tag Archives: Speaking


AA6English is the world’s working language. It’s the mother tongue of four hundred million people and it’s secondly-spoken by around a billion. English is the powerhouse in commercial communication, but it’s well behind Chinese and Spanish in cultural conversation.

You’re obviously conversant in the global language because you’re reading this, but did you know you use two distinct, different languages when you speak English?

AA12Today’s English is a blend of one-third Germanic Anglo-Saxon and two-thirds of romantic languages like Latin and French. It’s also got a bit of Celtic, Greek, and Norse thrown in.

In your everyday conversations, whether oral or electronic, you unconsciously switch between the formality of Latin and the folksy tune of words from Germanic roots. It’s like when we want to play, we go off casually – using plain and simple English like the guy in ripped jeans, a hoodie, and Birkenstocks (without socks). When we want to impress, we groom impeccably and display our fine Latin manners. C’mon. We all do that. Or, pray tell, do we not?

So where did this worldwide English language come from? Where’s it at today? And where’s it going in the future?

AA13A history lesson shows English began on the British Isles in 400 AD when three Germanic tribes invaded – the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. They pushed the native Celts north and west into Scotland and Ireland, then took the place for themselves calling it ‘Englaland’ with their language being ‘Englisc’.

Current English evolved over four phases.

Old English (450-1100 AD) didn’t look or sound much like how we talk today. We’d have a tough time understanding the flow, however half of our modern words are derived from Old English. Words like earth, wind, fire, water, and flow. Beowulf is a famous poem written in Old English. I don’t understand a word of it and I’m sure King Arthur and I’d have a rough go at debating.

AA14Middle English (1100-1500) came about when the Normans showed up in 1066, making a form of French the voice of England’s Royal Court. The higher class spoke French and the lower class spoke English.

Early Modern English (1500-1800) was the stuff of Shakespeare. It was also the age of the Renaissance when England was expanding and coming into contact with foreign languages. Publishing was growing. The masses were beginning to read and write. And dictionaries were available.

Late Modern English (1800 – Present) has a larger vocabulary and different delivery. You can thank the Industrial Revolution and also, at one point, the British Empire covered much of the civilized world, naturally adopting words and phrases form other cultures.

English is categorized in three circles which builds a cohesive global language.

AA15The inner circle is those with English as their mother tongue. Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa are the main players. English is handed down from generations within the inner circle and form the base who relay it to the rest of the world.

In the middle circle are English Second Language (ESL) speakers. There could be up to a billion, depending on how proficiency is defined. The Philippines is a good example. So are India, Pakistan, Singapore, Jamaica, and Nigeria.

The outer circle contains a vastly expanding populace who converse using English as a common tool. Today’s interconnected society relies on a communication standard and for many reasons that’s become English. It’s the international language at the United Nations, in treaties, in aviation, marine, medicine, science, and internet technology.

AA8Where I’m going with this – the blog you’re reading, ww.DyingWords.net, is a snapshot of how English is communicated in today’s global market. I started DyingWords three years ago because I wanted to provoke thoughts on life, death, and writing. I had something to say and I used the English language structure to convey it. It’s the only language I know, so I was pretty much stuck with it.

In three years, DyingWords experienced steady growth and I want to share this snapshot with you about global communication.

AA16I use Google Analytics to track traffic to my WordPress website. I surveyed a three day period – July 28/29/30, 2015 – which showed 2,778 visitors to the site. 12.3% were returning folk and 87.7% were new.

Google Analytics tells you fascinating things about who’s looking at your site. I’ll drill down. Here’s DyingWords visitor demographics:

Top 10 Countries By Visitor

  1. USA – 1392
  2. Canada – 435
  3. United Kingdom – 200
  4. Russia – 186
  5. Australia – 93
  6. China – 65
  7. India – 57
  8. Kenya – 54
  9. Netherlands – 43
  10. South Africia – 41

Top 10 Cities by Visitor

  1. New York – 93  (Almost all agents and publishers 😉
  2. Vancouver – 82
  3. London – 56
  4. Nanaimo – 55  (Most of that’s me lurking my own site)
  5. Los Angeles – 54
  6. Calgary – 41
  7. Toronto – 36
  8. Chicago – 31
  9. Melbourne – 26
  10. Sydney – 22

Google goes deeper. It looks at language settings on visitor profiles.

English (US Version)            56.7%

English (UK Version)              9.4%

English (Canadian)                 1.7%

English (Australia)                   0.5%

Other Languages                  31.7%

Wow! One-third of visitors to DyingWords are not first language English speakers.

So who are the unknown visitors?

AA17Here’s something else Google shocked me with. My website mailing list and personal contacts says my core audience is mostly upper middle-aged, educated, English-speaking women. But my mailing list and Google traffic are two entirely different things. The email list is permission marketing and Google refects wide open drop-ins. The search engines say something different about who’s knockin’.

Age Of Visitors

18 – 24                                     27.5%

25 – 34                                     33.5%

35 – 44                                     15.5%

45 – 54                                      12.5%

55 – 64                                        5.5%

65 +                                             5.5%

And what blew-me was gender profile.

Female                                    45.85%

Male                                         54.15%

AA18I’m getting the picture there’s a lot of young, ESL men finding my website and I never mention the “- orn” word, so it can’t be a search generated from that keyword set in a post or buried in metadata. I think they might be searching to improve their English.

DyingWords found a global English language market and my Alexa Ranking shows it. If you don’t know, Alexa is an Amazon product that ranks your website exposure among a billion other websites on the planet. Today, August 1st, 2015, DyingWords is Alexa ranked at 2,940,467 – rising 442,954 positions in the past three months. That’s a 15% increase and puts it in the top 0.3% if you use the billion benchmark number of recorded name domains. Even if you use the disclaimer that 75% of websites are inactive, DyingWords is still in the top 11.8%. I’m good with that because it helps people connect in English.

I attribute the success of this venture to astute scholars, peers included, who allow, appreciate, and advance my provoking of thoughts on life, death, and writing through an effecitve online media format.

And I luv ya guys who keep pushin’ my bullshit.

#BeInteresting 2 look back @200 years & see how English language bettered since 2015. Tx 4 drop-by & plse share #English-SpeakingAGlobalLanguage via #SM btns below ~


Thanks so much to Australian BestSelling thriller author, Rachel Amphlett, who gives writers these confidence building tips on how to publicly promote their work. 

RachelA1Most writers I know, myself included, are quite happy in their own little worlds. We might venture out to go to work, socialize with friends, or do the shopping but we’re never happier than when we’re tucked away daydreaming or scribbling down frantic notes for our current works in progress.

The problem is, when we are required to do public speaking, we’re simply not equipped for it. In fact, we’re terrified. So, how do you go from happy introvert to confident extrovert, even if it’s just for a few minutes?

Prepare Yourself

RachelA9You’re probably going to be asked to read an excerpt from your latest work. The trick here is to read it out aloud on your own a couple of times during the week leading up to the event.

Talking out loud is a lot different to talking in your head. You’ll spot the words you’re likely to trip over, you’ll discover a whole new meaning to ‘pacing’ and, more importantly, you’ll find the places where you can come up for air.

Yes, remember to breathe – please. We don’t want you passing out from lack of air.

Know Your Audience

RachelA7The first public talk I ever did with regard to my writing was in a library, on a Saturday morning, to two people. Yes, two.

I was still scared. These lovely ladies had read about my first novel in the local paper and had decided that they’d better come along to see what I had to say for myself.

I quickly realised it would be ridiculous if I insisted on standing and pacing about in front of them, so instead we pulled up a little circle of chairs and I started off by explaining how I decided to write a book. Before I knew it, a whole hour had gone by, two of the library employees had joined us, and they’d all grabbed details of how to download my book (it was only available as an eBook at the time, and the library still supported me, thank goodness), and we’ve exchanged emails since that time.

Sitting down and being at the same level as my audience meant we were a lot more approachable to each other – the gesture broke down any ‘us and them’ barriers that might have otherwise been in place, and led to a much better engagement. And I realized that they weren’t so scary after all.

RachelA4The key here is to size up your audience and adjust your presentation, if necessary. Are the guests talkative and chatty? Engage them with questions. Are people taking lots of notes? Slow down the tiniest bit to allow them time to write. Reading your audience is hugely helpful in allowing you to tailor your presentation to their needs, which can make for a more successful event.

Take Your Time

For the life of me, I can’t remember where I learnt this trick, but trust me – it works. Whatever the occasion, when it’s your turn to stand up in front of an audience, make them wait.

RachelA3Not too long, though. By taking your time, I mean walk up to the podium, stage or whatever speaking platform has been set up, and either open the book and run your gaze over the first few sentences, or adjust the microphone. Adjusting the microphone is my favorite trick. Personally, I haven’t got an excuse, because at six foot tall I usually tower over my host anyway, but it’s a fantastic way to prepare for public speaking.

When I was asked to read an excerpt from my first book at an international thriller author’s book launch, I adjusted the microphone, looked up at the audience, and asked if they could hear me okay. A few people at the back called out that they could, and off I went. Those precious few seconds allowed me to:

  • Get my breathing under control

  • Eyeball my audience

  • Engage with my audience, and prepare them (and me!) for the sound of my voice

RachelA6Hopefully the above tips will help ease your nerves leading up to your moment in the spotlight. If public speaking is something you’d like to develop, there are several groups you can join, Toastmasters being the obvious choice, and one I’ve participated in a couple of times. I found them to be incredibly supportive and attentive listeners and the feedback is invaluable.

Often, the hurdle is getting used to your own voice, but once you’ve done that, you’ll be well on your way to being a confident public speaker, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Rachel originally wrote this piece for the blogsite Writers Helping Writers. You can find it on this link: http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/11/3-tricks-surviving-public-speaking-event/

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RachelA10Rachel Amphlett previously worked in the UK publishing industry, played lead guitar in rock bands, and worked with BBC radio before relocating from England to Australia in 2005. After returning to writing, Rachel enjoyed publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with her short stories, before her first thriller White Gold was released in 2011.

Rachel12Her Dan Taylor thrillers (White Gold and Under Fire) and her latest standalone thriller, Before Nightfall, are all Amazon bestsellers. Currently, two further independent projects are in draft stage, while a third Dan Taylor thriller is being researched.

Before Nightfall eBook cover smallNow, till Jan 31, Before NightFall is on special at .99 cents at Amazon.

You can keep in touch with Rachel via:

Her website  http://www.rachelamphlett.com/

Read her blog  http://www.rachelamphlett.com/blog

Her mailing list