Most of the work I do is related in some way to communication. I take it seriously enough that it actually hurts me when I am misunderstood. The potential for misunderstanding is magnified on large international projects even when everyone speaks English. English is spoken all over the world by over a billion people, but most of these people speak it at a very basic level as a second language. Even among people who grew up speaking English, it is sometimes difficult to communicate and misunderstandings are common. As a consultant, I work with people from all over the world. They all speak English in very different ways, with different accents and very different cultures. I just finished an international project where the team was 40% Japanese, 20% American, 20% French, with the rest of the team coming from Mexico, Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, India, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.
I have advice for everyone speaking English who is trying to say something important: