This is from a series originally posted on my original blog: Seefahrer Thayer. While I don't recommend it, you can view the original posts here. Because the content had value and useful tips I've decided to repost them here, however, they've since been heavily edited and updated.
At first, I tried hard to stifle my "y'all's," (wow a lot of stuff going on there) but I soon realized it's a great conversation starter. It's usually followed by "y'all? Where are you from?" And not just by fellow American travelers either, most locals hear it and know it as American South.
Also, I suggest you master the art of speaking with your hands. I've definitely learned to speak slowly and clearly (not loudly), and with gestures to get my point across, and it's made a world of difference. (Plus I guess there's the added benefit that everyone back home won't have to yell at me to speak slower anymore.)