If we treat languages like Casey Neistat treats his MacBook Pros — just as tools which help us communicate with other people, perhaps it makes more sense to double down on our English language learning.
In other words, what if we put those 1000–2000 hours of foreign language learning into English instead? Not just ‘knowing how to speak English’ — but by becoming exceptional at communicating.
But there’s no Skillshare course on this. In my own efforts, I’ve outlined a rough learning plan (open to suggestions):
1️⃣ Public Speaking and Persuasion
I’ve started agreeing to almost any public speaking opportunity. I think proficiency will only come with practice. I also signed up for my local Toastmasters
I think my biggest learning and struggle from podcasting has been how to quickly think of and articulate a question — all whilst actively listening. It’s really easy to have a question in mind, but in the heat of the moment to projectile (verbal) vomit some nonsense. Especially if the guest is scary.
2️⃣ Writing and Storytelling
This newsletter is good writing practice, although admittedly — it lacks a specific feedback loop on my writing itself. Something I would like to join is David Perell’s $1000 Write of Passage
Course (but Junior Doctor pay is down 22%
since 2008 😤).
(Interestingly, getting good at tweeting forces you to write concisely, think of narratives and front-load interest — very useful writing practice).
3️⃣ Vocabulary and Grammar
I have mixed feelings about this one. I keep a Notes document with interesting words I come across like saccharine
. But if the goal is to communicate
better, then using words that no one can understand doesn’t make sense. I think Paul Graham
writes using simple language very well.
Similarly with grammar, “me and my mates did X” is grammatically incorrect — but it sounds a lot more normal than “my mates and I did X”.
4️⃣ Being Funny
I’m not sure how to tackle this one. But doing a stand up comedy set is on my bucket list.