How to Express Ideas in English Clearly and with Confidence
You’re in a meeting and you’ve got a great idea. So you’re excited to share it. There’s just one problem. Everyone is speaking in English and this means you’ll have to express your idea in English. You freeze.
Suddenly you feel shy and can’t say anything. So you stay quiet and that awful feeling of frustration and disappointment takes over. You had a really great idea and now it is too late. The moment has passed, the conversation has moved on and you missed your chance.
No one will ever know what you had to say. Has this ever happened to you?
Today I’ll show you how to clearly and confidently express ideas in English. You will leave this lesson ready to share your next idea with your colleagues, boss, friends or classmates.
Here’s what you’re going to learn:
- 4 steps to be ready and feel less nervous
- my favorite strategy for activating your vocabulary
- Key phrases native speakers use to interrupt and introduce an idea
- 2 examples of how to combine the strategies and new phrases
Plus, I’ve got two challenge questions for you to get practice with how to express ideas in English. So let’s get started!
My favorite strategies to express yourself clearly & confidently.
Lesson by Annemarie
4 Steps to Express Ideas in English
Step 1: Prepare
Preparation is always the best first step, it helps you feel ready and reduces nerves.
If you know a meeting is coming up, or a brainstorming discussion, a presentation or a sales meeting, think about what you want to say ahead of time, note down some keywords or phrases you might use.
Practice saying the words and sentences you might say out loud. Seriously, it works.
Step 2: Keep it Simple
As you prepare, keep your idea simple and focused.
Don’t worry about complex English grammar or the best sounding English words. Everyone will be happier and everyone will understand more clearly if you keep it simple.
Step 3: Use Visuals
When appropriate and possible, use visuals to help you.
If you are talking about a graph, refer to or show the graph. If you are talking about sales, show everyone what numbers you are talking about. If you are brainstorming ideas, draw a sketch or show a picture.
Most people are visual learners. This will help you and them and sometimes we feel less nervous when people are looking at the visuals, it can take the pressure off.
Step 4: Bite the bullet
Bite the bullet is a great idiom that we use when you have been putting something off, delaying doing something, when you have been avoiding something because you think it will be horrible or unpleasant, and now it is time to just get on with it and just do it, bite the bullet and just get it done.
When you see your chance to share your idea, that is your moment, you need to take it, you need to bite the bullet. It doesn’t mean you won’t be nervous, but being brave means feeling nervous and doing it anyway. It is okay to be nervous, you just need to take a deep breath and jump right in. Go for it, take the risk.
✨Remember: You might be the ONLY person in the room with your idea or your opinion or your point of view. And your ideas could change things for the better. Don’t let English stop you. You might be nervous—but you’ll be glad you did it.
Common Phrases to Introduce and Express Ideas in English
First, politely ask for time to share your idea:
- I would just like to add something…
- Can I jump in here? (to politely interrupt the flow of conversation)
- Can I share something here?
- I would love to run an idea by you…
- Perhaps another option might be…
Second, give your perspective or idea by saying:
- I think that…
- As I see it…
- As I thought about this problem/issue/situation, I realized that…
- I’d like to point out…
- From my point of view…
- Personally, I think that…
- Based on my own experience, I find that…
- I don’t know about you, but I can say/but I think…
- I was wondering if it might be possible to…
- Maybe we could consider…
Here is what that would look like altogether:
- Can I jump in here? Personally, I think there are many great ways to build fluency in English. But this is what has worked best for me and what I would recommend…
- I’d just like to share something. As I thought about this situation, I realized that there isn’t just one best way to learn English.
- I don’t know about you, but I know for me practicing everyday has made all the difference in my fluency. One way to start is…
- I strongly believe that if we just do a little practice every day, our English will improve! And here’s how we can start…
So, now you are ready to clearly share your ideas, even when you are feeling nervous, you know you can take a deep breath and bite the bullet.
Here is your first chance to get started. Choose one of these situations and share your great idea with us:
- A group of people at work are trying to think of ways to improve the environment in your town, they don’t seem to be coming up with anything that could make a real difference. Politely jump in and share your great idea.
- A discussion is going on about the best ways to improve English. Jump in and let them know your best ideas.
You can share in the comments below. It’s the best place to get feedback and learn from others in the Confident English Community.
Have a fantastic week!
Get the Confidence to Say What You Want in English
Download my free training on how to build the courage and confidence you need to say what you want in English.
You'll also get my Confident English lessons delivered by email every Wednesday and occasional information about available courses. You can unsubscribe any time.
Learn with me
Most Recent Lessons
Motivate your team in English and effectively demonstrate your leadership skills with these 14 must-have phrases + 4 key strategies. Get clear example sentences that you can confidently adapt to your needs as a team leader in an English-speaking environment at work.
Use these English idioms to express your feelings. Idioms add creativity and nuance so you can express yourself precisely.
Assimilation in American English is the reason why the sentence “Nice to meet you” sounds like “nice to meetchu.” As part of the Confident English series on how to Understand Fast English Speakers, this pronunciation training lesson will highlight 6 clear examples of assimilation in American English.