Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

In today’s episode you’ll find out how to talk about your accomplishments in English without sounding rude, snobby, or tacky.

It’s important to be able to talk about the great things that you have done but there is a “fine line” between being proud of what you have done and sounding snobby or “full of yourself.”

Three ways to talk about your accomplishments:

1) Link it back to the other person with a question:

  • Michelle: “Lindsay what have you accomplished lately?”
  • Lindsay: “I hiked across Spain in 2010. Do you like to hike? Are you a hiker?”

In this case I mentioned the accomplishment but I quickly turned it around and made it into a conversation by asking the person if she liked to participate in that same activity.

2) Emphasize the other people that helped make it happen

  • Lindsay: “Michelle, what have you done in the past five years?”
  • Michelle: “I moved to New York by myself but I was lucky because my friends were really supportive. I couldn’t have done it on my own.”

In this case Michelle acknowledged what she did but she also talked about the people that helped her and the role that they played.

3) Be casual and humble when you mention the accomplishment

  • Lindsay: “Michelle guess what? Did you know that our podcast got nominated for an award?”
  • Michelle: “Oh that’s great. Congratulations!”

You can start a statement like this with “Guess what?” or “by the way” or “oh I meant to tell you.” The idea is to insert it casually and without focusing too much on it.

What should you avoid when you talk about your accomplishments:

  • Don’t downplay your accomplishment: Don’t say “Oh it’s no big deal.” It’s annoying when you do this. Be proud of what you have done but use the techniques that we mentioned above.

Is it ok to talk about your accomplishments in your home culture?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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