Accent Softening

What is accent softening or accent reduction?

Accent softening (or accent reduction) is the process of altering, reducing or changing your accent, with the majority of our clients looking to move towards Received Pronunciation which is commonly referred to as RP. Of course, this can also include pronunciation improvement and diction development like many of the areas that we cover within elocution training.


elocution coach working on a vowel in elocution lessons

Vowels, Dipthongs & Consonants

One of the first areas that we cover with clients who want to soften their accents are their major vowels, dipthongs and consonants, all based on the results of your Voice Assessment. This includes covering the shape, placement and elongation of the sound. Once this is complete, we then look to explore the minor vowels, dipthongs and consonants, which make less of an impact but are still important to cover nontheless.


accent softening work


It is important for clients to understand the difference between accent softening (or accent reduction) and pronunciation work. Although for a number of clients, their accent is their key focus, it is also important that you are using the correct pronunciation for words in the English language. This helps increase clarity, confidence and conviction in your speech. 

shaunagh shannon working on a vocal exercise


Although it is critical to cover the sounds in isolation, it is also important that we build these into day-to-day speech. Depending on a clients’ progress, we will always look to intersperse your training with techniques to help implement the changes day-to-day.

The above are just some examples of how taking accent softening or accent reduction classes can you help you with your speech. Although every client is different in their history, feelings and goals, we have found from talking to thousands of people across the world that the majority will go through the following stages prior to contacting us for help:


There’s a block, that has existed for a number of years (or even decades), living deep inside your brain. In fact, so much so, you may have ignored it or been unaware of it’s existence with no means to fight it.


On the outside, you may struggle to be understood by colleagues, fail to secure the deal in a sale or simply point-blank refuse to engage in speaking.


Inside, you may feel anxious, struggle to feel comfortable or even lose hope because of your speech.


You’re not the only person to feel this way, and you’re not the only person who SHOULDN’T have to feel this way.

The Process

The process to work with us is quick and easy. Depending on availability, you can go from applying to enrolling in a matter of days.

Due to demand, we are currently operating an application-only process for our 1:1 programmes to allow us to assess your needs and requirements - click here to apply now. Alternatively, you can enrol for our online courses without an application here.
Discovery Call
For successful applicants, a member of the team will reach out via phone to discuss your application further, provide initial advice and run through the next steps with you.
For all our 1:1 programmes, the next step would be to complete a Voice Assessment. The Voice Assessment is completed in two parts and includes a 30-minute Results Session via Google Meet, where we will go through the full results of your assessment as well as run through our recommendation at the end.
Following on from your Results Session, you will then be enrolled in one of our 1:1 programmes based on our recommendation and your personal preferences.

The Methodology

Build on a decade of experience, the Percy-Smith Method™ is a combined approach involving speech technique, psychological development and regular coaching contact.


Like any skill or tool, we work closely with clients to develop their speech and improve their communication skills, using unique techniques such as Stop Think Breathe Go™. Plus, we are constantly adding new tools to our platform, The Elocution Coach Academy.


There is no point building on technique when you can't implement it. We work hard to unpick habitual processes that clients have developed over a number of years using a range of methods. We also understand the demands of full-time work and help clients maintain their development on a daily-basis.


Although a proportion of clients prefer to work alone via our online courses, we inject as much contact time as possible into our 1:1 programmes. From full coaching sessions, to our Monthly Review Calls and even our unlimited feedback feature, our team are with you every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

This depends on the type of programme you need. For example, our self-taught options start at just £9.99 per month, whereas our 1:1 coaching programmes start at £169 per month. You can find out more about our prices here.

How long does a programme run for?

A typical client will spend approximately three months on one of our programmes; however, there is no minimum term (i.e. you can spend as long as you would like on a particular programme) but our team can provide a more accurate estimate following a Voice Assessment.

Are sessions online or in-person?

98% of our client choose to complete their programme online, via Google Meet; however, we are able to host 1:1 sessions at our offices in Milton Keynes (subject to availability).

Do you offer guarantees?

Although our programmes are highly successful and we have fast become the UK’s leading elocution focused company, we do not offer a 100% guarantee. This is because the process involves a number of factors, including client commitment and psychology. No programme, course, coach or tutor can offer a 100% guarantee for this line of work and our advice is to avoid a company or individual that claims they can.

Who would my coach be?

This also depends on the programme you choose to enrol on. For example, our Kickstarter and Breakthrough Programmes are managed by our Senior Associate Coaches, Kate and Shaunagh, and also coached by our Associate Coaches, Jamie and Alisha; whereas, our Ultimate Programme is hosted by our founder and Head Coach, James. With this in mind, clients generally work with the whole team during their training. 

I've got more questions, how do I contact you?

The quickest way to contact us via the live chat in the bottom right hand corner; however, you can also call us during the working week via +44 (0) 330 043 98 94. For more FAQs, check out our help centre via the live chat.