Successfully Speaking

 "Achieve Excellence in Communication"
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Lynda Katz Wilner, M.S., CCC-SLP is a corporate communication trainer and 
a Speech and Language Pathologist.
She is the founder and director of Successfully Speaking, a woman-owned communication consulting firm, which specializes in professional speaking skills, foreign accent modification, and regional dialect reduction for native and non-native speakers.
Ms. Wilner developed and published Medically Speaking: Accent Modification for the Medical Profession, The Medically Speaking Inventory: Assessment of Accented Speech, and collaborated with Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker in the development of  RULES, Medically Speaking RULES, and RULES BY THE SOUND. She trains individuals, groups, and trainers around the United States with her unique programs. 
Foreign Accents on ABC News
A University of Chicago study was reported on ABC News on July 28th. Shiri Lev-Ari, a post doctoral researcher, and Boaz Keysar, a professor of psychology and a specialist on communication, reported their findings in the current Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. They found that individuals with heavy accents were perceived as less credible than those with mild or no accent. To read "The Truth Behind Thick Accents: Foreigners Judged Less Truthful," click here.
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Our Vision
Successfully Speaking enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to achieve excellence in communication and maximize their professional success.
August 2010
In July, I attended my first Howard County Human Resources Society monthly meeting. The speaker, Gary L. Ashenback, Jr., a Special Agent with the United States Department of Defense, gave an excellent presentation on "Detecting Deception for HR Professionals." Ashenback discussed the differences between comments that are truthful vs. deceptive. A wonderful quote by Dr. Sigmund Freud, "If his lips are silent, he chatters through his fingertips," brought to the forefront the power of nonverbal communication.
Successfully Speaking helps individuals to achieve excellence in communication. We are not just limited by our words; our actions and other nonverbal means communicate volumes of information. For example, when lying, it is not just what we say, but how we say it, and how we look when we say it.
Communication is comprised of the three V's: Visual, Vocal, and Verbal. "Visual" is what the listener sees, "Vocal" is how we sound, and "Verbal" is what we say. If these three V's are incongruous, the listener becomes confused and questions the validity of the message. Studies have shown that when we meet someone for the first time, we rely on the Visual 55%, the Vocal 38%, and the Verbal 7% (Mehrabian, 1982).
If you or your employees have less than optimal pronunciation or "tone of voice" and/or inappropriate body language, posture, eye contact, or facial expressions, the verbal message will be sabotaged or compromised. We must make sure all three V's are consistent to form a powerful and professional appearance.
Communication Skills and Accent Modification Training
The role of communication skills training is to identify the patterns that are interfering with communication and systematically address these features. The outcome is more successful communication, particularly in the workplace, increased self-confidence, and improved career opportunities. 

Supervisors, co-workers, and Human Resource Professionals often hesitant to broach the subject of communication training, especially when a foreign accent is involved. However, when the employees' job responsibilities include verbal communication, ineffective skills may become a reasonable barrier for career success or advancement. The terminology of  "professional speaking skills enhancement," "communication skills training," and "professional development" are often more acceptable to employees than focusing on their weaknesses, e.g., accent, poor grammar, ineffective leadership skills, etc. Many employees embrace the opportunity to take advantage of communication skills training. Keep this in mind when approaching your employees.
Please contact us if you have any questions about how to approach employees, colleagues, or friends who are having difficulty with communication skills. contact us 
How it is presented will influence their success in the training process.
ESL RULES, LLC is a division of Successfully Speaking. We develop training programs and materials for non-native English speakers. Learn more about us at
With warm regards, 
Lynda Katz Wilner, M.S.
Successfully Speaking
Telephone/Fax: 410.356.5666