The day before yesterday I spoke with a client from Germany. She was in England getting ready to go for dinner with British business partners who don't speak German, of course. We spoke about the various possible conversation topics, from smalltalk to business topics. The last thing I said to her was 'Enjoy the dinner,' and she laughed a little. Perhaps because she was nervous.
Yesterday she had a more formal meeting and a presentation to give, all in English. We have been through the presentation together and she knows the content well but she still felt a little nervous. It's normal.
I advised her to make some notes as soon as she had a quiet moment after the dinner and again after the meeting. I suggested that she write down what went well and what was more challenging in each situation - especially any words and phrases that didn't come to mind when she wanted them. This will help us to address any communication issues in the future as we work together to develop her skills and confidence.
Keeping a journal of meetings, presentations and conversations in English can help to guide training, show progress and provide the motivation to continue onwards.