Who Should I Listen To If I Want An American Accent?

Aug 28, 2019

Episode 7

When teaching the American accent, I always have my students choose a speech model at some point during our first session. 

Why?

It gives us a clear goal to refer to when we need some inspiration, motivation, or listening practice.

A Good Speech Model Is:

Someone who is the student’s gender, approximate age, and has a style, image, and way of speaking that the student feels is representative of himself or herself.

I am often asked, “Who should I listen to and try to imitate if I want a good, neutral American Accent?”

Don't go for broadcasters or politicians.  They tend to sound robotic and rehearsed.  Choose someone who sounds like a real person.

Here are some of my current favorites.  These are all people with a very standard American accent, but who still sound real, likable, and relatable.  

Younger Female (18-50): Emma Stone, Zoe Kravitz

Older Female (50+): Oprah Winfrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Younger Male (18-30): John Krasinski, Michael Strahan (yes, even with the lisp. It’s doesn’t affect the clarity of his speech. He sounds sophisticated but still so likable!)

Older Male (50+): Alec Baldwin, Rob Riggle

I highly recommend choosing a speech model for yourself or for your students who are learning an accent. It helps you get clear and stay clear on how you want to sound.

Who are your favorite American accent speech models?  Or speech models for other accents and dialects?  Let me know in the comments below (your email address will not be posted)
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