When being fluent is not always enough

You may be fluent. You may even be confident, But are you doing enough to keep improving your communication skills as a non native English speaker?  Are you using your skills as effectively as you could?

Our Multi-Cultural Exchange is an opportunity to learn how to think differently, boost your confidence  together with your ‘people skills’ – and be part of a diverse multi-cultural community.

Run at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Lounge in Trinity, this series of mini workshops has been created specifically for non-native English speakers living and working in Dublin who are looking for ways to up-skill and make real connections. 

If you have a reasonable, working knowledge of English and are an employee or business owner, job seeker or perhaps someone who is looking to develop a business or creative idea, this is an opportunity to become a more confident communicator by helping yourself and others as you learn with and from each other.
Creating a 'Culture of Conversation' for today

The MMTW Multi-Cultural Exchange is based on the belief that success comes from collaboration and the most sustainable relationships from creating a ‘culture of conversation’. Using your working knowledge of the English language, you will be improving your communication skills and gain confidence through the sharing of experience and expertise with the guidance of the Event Facilitator Janie Lazar, MMTW Founder and Business Owner.   

Booking essential. Places limited.





What can we really know about a person from on-line profiles?  How true are they to the person behind that all singing, all dancing, slick on-line image?  How much do our profiles really tell us, potential clients, potential employees, potential friends? Our Workplace can be a really emotional place, sometimes when we’ve things on our minds and our reaction to a situation, a comment can be out of proportion. Someone’s ‘pushed’ our buttons and triggered a response that under normal circumstances wouldn’t bother us but hey, too late. We’ve pushed the send button or the words have leapt out of our mouths before we’ve had time to blink.  Too late. In person it is easier to make amends.  On-line, it’s gone.

Congruency matters.  On-line or off-line, it is you, what you do and how you do it that makes all the difference.

Whether you are standing up in front of an audience or emailing someone, talking on the phone or blogging. You are putting yourself ‘out there’. It is taking a leap of faith especially on-line where once it’s gone, you’ve pushed that send/publish/share button and you’re showing yourself to the world,  What you’ve created is an imprint. The question is, is it really you?

A company whose values align with your own, that you are proud to be part of benefits from having employees who know who they are and what they stand for.  People who are proud to be working for them, as after all, employees are ‘brand ambassadors’ and make no mistake, people who work for themselves are walking advertisements for themselves too.  An an Employee or Business Owner, you need to be able to express yourself, voice your opinion in a way which shows respect and appreciate another’s point of view.   When someone has the courage to say ‘I’m not sure about this, can you help me’ or perhaps ‘Do you think there’s a better way of explaining the problem’ or quite simply ‘Can I ask you what you think’, it’s a real indicator that there is space for growth, for improved performance, a willingness to expand one’s horizons.

Sometimes I find myself technically challenged.  Spending time working out how to use a new phone, a new app, embrace a new way of getting my message out there I find hard.  I am sure I am not the only one. Once a ‘twit-nit’ does not mean forever and now I’ve asked for help, though a slow learner know it will get easier!

Being able to be yourself matters.  To express yourself matters. Congruency matters – on and off-line…

Join us for breakfast and be part of the conversation




When words don’t come fast enough

Years ago when I was a fairly competent French speaker living and working in Paris, I loved the life I had.  The only thing was that no matter how well I spoke the language, I often found that conversation progressed so fast that by the time I’d begun to speak, the moment was lost.  You may have experienced this too. Frustrated and disappointed often, I eventually lost confidence in my ability to contribute as effectively as I wanted to. I feel my employers lost out, I did and probably my clients at the time too – I hasten to add there were no complaints !!

Catch 22

I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact I needed help. My employers assumed that everything was ok because once I was ensconced I managed to get my work done efficiently. No-one asked or guessed anything was wrong at all. I never voiced my concerns. But with the benefit of hindsight, what a lost opportunity for both parties.  I never realized my potential within the organisation and my value to the company was not maximized.  Had I received more than basic induction training, which really revolved around product only I probably would have still been living in France.  Ah. C’est la vie…

Training needs are hopefully better identified these days, but I’m not entirely convinced. Technology is making so many every day tasks faster and in many instances being automated, thereby reducing the need or opportunity for human intervention. And yes, never has the need for human connection been greater. 

Is there something more about the 80/20 rule we should be looking at?

If more than 80% of our satisfaction in life comes from our relationships with others, the need to connect and communicate effectively and especially in a business environment  appropriately, boosting core communication skills and language competency where it is most needed has to be an integral part of a continual program of professional development.

I’ve been that executive working overseas, involved in client meetings, team meetings, training sessions. More recently, in Italy where people have been amazingly receptive to any efforts I make, once the conversation gets going, that sinking feeling returns as I cannot keep up enough to join in the conversation and I can feel my stress levels rising as I struggle to make sure I’ve understood the salient points of a meeting.

Emotions play havoc with our minds.  This we know. What we don’t fully appreciate is quite how this triggers unhelpful patterns of behavior, what employers can do to help and how we can help ourselves more.

It’s not rocket science and particularly as in Ireland the workplace is becoming more culturally diverse, we need to be more aware that many international employees are often doing jobs because of their native language and sometimes multilingual abilities  which is great for the clients they service. It may leave a gap where their Confidence and Competence (two words which in themselves can sound remarkably similar when mispronounced by a non native English Speaker!) in using English effectively may be slowing down the rate at which they integrate and contribute within their teams and the company overall. The greater the levels of engagement, the greater the performance.

Many people I work with whose first language is English lack confidence, fear public speaking and hate making presentations so it is easy to understand the difficulties facing non native English Speakers. I know. I’ve been there. And yes, lack of confidence, disappointment can play havoc with one’s emotions !

Much More Than Words specializes in working with International Executives boosting language competency through the provision of Professional and Personal Development.

‘the organisation as an emotional arena’  

18 January 2017 –  7.45 – 9.30 am

Be part of this conversation with Dr. Annette Clancy, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at UCD College of Business as she shares invaluable insights at our first Breakfast Meeting of 2017 for HR Specialists.

 Kindly hosted by the Bank of Ireland

at the new Enterprise Lounge at UCD, Montrose

Contact Janie: 086 857 2005 

booking advisable


Getting Your Message Across

is all about Pitching, Persuading, Performing – being the best you can be

You may well be an expert in your field, the person who people look to for knowledge, guidance and learning, but if you cannot get your message out there clearly and effectively, then you’re wasting time.  Time which your audience ‘of one’ or ‘of many’, has given you – either way, they will have expectations and you have a responsibility to deliver well!

Maybe you have a speech to prepare and deliver, a major sales presentation to give, an educational talk.  A simple, everyday conversation. What matters most especially when you are not speaking in your own language, is that you maximise the opportunity you have and give people who have given their time to attend real value.


What you want is for people to come away with a ‘BIG YES FEELING’. What does that mean? Yes, this is someone I like. Yes, this is someone I respect. Yes, this is someone I can work with. Yes, this is someone I’d be happy to recommend. YES.YES.YES. And yes, when someone likes you, they will want to get to know you.  When we get to know someone we like, we want to do business with them. The reality is… we prefer to do business with people we like!

Make no mistake, even if you believe you are not in sales – you are.  We are all selling. All of the time. 

It's only human nature to want to like a person, to feel comfortable with them.  Then we know we can trust them and it is this element, trust, which underpins every relationship personal and professional.

Group Training with Janie and on a ‘One to One’ basis

The strength of the one to one business relationship is what sustains customer loyalty – not the time spent in front of a computer screen, behind an email or text message, all ways in which one can so easily be ‘misunderstood’.

Click to contact Janie directly

Janie Lazar – 086 8572005

Much More Than Words is running a Breakfast Time HR Event on the 18th January 2017 at the Bank of Ireland, Montrose Centre.

Free breakfast + particularly interesting speakers!

email for more



Off the Cuff

When Speaking in Public causes you stress ..

Relax! You’re not alone. More than half the population seems to be terrified at the very thought of being asked to present or speak in public. In fact, many have said they would rather ‘die’ !! You may be surprised to know many of the world’s greatest speeches have been made by introverts, people who choose to Janie Lazar - Coderdojothon 2016manage their stress and present with excitement rather than fear. The good news is you can learn to do the same and learn how to speak and present with confidence. Boosting your English language and Presentation Skills together will make you a more effective communicator, as well as help you with your ability to network for effectively. MMTW Integrated training is available on a one to one and group basis for organisations. As not everyone can avail of training in their workplace, we run ‘Public Workshops’ – with the next for people whose first language isn’t English scheduled for the 5th November 2016. This is an intensive Mini Workshop ‘Preparing to Present’ where participants learn practical communication skills and tips usable in any language.

Click to contact us directly to see how we can help     

the Chinese word ‘wei-chi’ has two meanings: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’.  It all depends on how you see it.  So when you change your perspective and see speaking in public as an opportunity, we can work to turn that fear into excitement.