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We Judge Books by their Covers All the Time, Even if We Know,We Shouldn’t.

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

People in general, tend to underestimate people who have bad pronunciation and overestimate people who have good pronunciation.
Mistakes in Pronunciation may Distract or even Irritate the Audience
Why bother improving your pronunciation?

A few weeks back, I talked to a Udemy course instructor in a customer interview. He was from Japan and had designed multiple trainings for Udemy. Many students had enrolled in his courses and given him 5-star ratings.

He has created technical training on subjects like data science and statistics. In his online training, he used his voiceover and ppt slides. However, he was not showing his face in his courses. When I asked questions about his satisfaction with the training feedback for his lectures, he mentioned that he was getting low scores on “Engaging Delivery.”

We started deep diving into the root cause of low ratings on his content delivery. One of the reasons could be — not showing his face in the video. His students might not be able to connect with him due to this.

Another reason for this low rating could be the mispronunciation of some words. English was not his native language. As a result, he mispronounced some of the English words. He remarked that sometimes his colleagues faced similar issues in understanding his words.

We came out with a temporary fix for this issue for his online training. His students can read the transcript of the lectures in his training course. So wherever they are confused about understanding a word, they can look at the transcript and get clarifications.

But this also means shifting the focus from listening to reading. It might impact the learning flow and might not be liked by the student. In another instance, I was chit-chatting with an ex-colleague. It was not precisely a customer interview, but I asked questions specific to my product use case. I asked about his experience with online training courses; he cited one interesting instance.

He mentioned that he likes one German trainer. He has an excellent hold on his subject. He is the number one trainer on the Udemy platform. There are thousands of his students, most of whom have given him 5-star ratings.

But then, this friend made a strange remark. He confessed that he did not take this German trainer’s courses. The reason is that he could not understand some of the words in the German trainer’s lectures.

He does check the exact words via transcript but does not enjoy doing this while learning a subject. As a result, he chooses the next best trainer on Udemy to know about that specific subject, whose words he could understand completely.

What do these two instances have in common?

Our words must be understood well by our listeners.

Failures in communication take place in various circumstances and conditions. We exchange ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and opinions through the choice of written and spoken words.

Unfortunately, miscommunication is common — the listener or reader fails to understand what is said or written.

Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Make Friends and Influence People,” said,

“90 percent of all management problems are caused by miscommunication.”

Mispronunciation is one of the top reasons for miscommunication. Even if you have an avid audience, they have trouble concentrating on what you are saying rather than how you say it if you mispronounce a word.

Communication works for those who work at it — John Powell

Our product, “Speakho,” can help bridge this mispronunciation gap for online course creators. You can upload your audio file, or you can directly record it with the help of your laptop speakers.

Also, upload the speech transcript on the Speakho website, and you will get your comprehensive speech report. It will contain the scores at the word level and for the entire speech.

You can click on the small icon near each low-scored word (depicted in red) to listen to the correct pronunciation of that specific word. It will help you to learn the correct pronunciation of low-scoring words.

After some practice, you can resend the corrected audio file. Speakho will show the new score and the improvement from the last attempt.

When you start seeing better word and speech scores, this is the time to share your final recordings with your students. It will help you create more impact with your training, as your students will be able to understand your lectures. In addition, this will lead to more student enrollments and higher review ratings for your online courses.

For more information on Speakho, you can check our website or reach out to us at

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