One of the new members of my private language learning group asked me a really good question on how to improve Chinese speaking. I would like to share my answer to this question here as well because I believe you can very much benefit from it.
"You asked a really good question. It seems that you hit an "intermediate plateau" with your Chinese. I had this happening to me many times. First of all, it's not bad. If you can express pretty much anything by using the same vocabulary, it's a really good base to start with. First of all, the question that I have for you is are you using a course of textbooks to get you to the advanced level (check out my last YT video on this topic)? Are you doing exercises related to using new vocabulary and grammar patterns? If not, you should consider doing all of that! This is the main way of improving your Chinese! The next step is massive exposure. You should constantly read, listen and watch everything in Chinese language. After you have enough input from the two steps mentioned above, here is what you need to do. Practice as much as you can with native speakers and every time when you practice, consciously try to craft your phrases and expressions in a more sophisticated way. Try to push yourself all the time when speaking.
And finally, the last thing that will happen to you is what I call "automatic learning". After massively exposing yourself, learning and consciously pushing yourself to upgrade your speaking, your subconscious mind will turn on and your speaking will start improving automatically (the last phase). How do you know that you subconscious started working? Well, you will start noticing that new phrases, words, grammatical structures and the whole expressions will start AUTOMATICALLY pop-up in your speaking without your conscious effort. You will notice that you drop some word or phrase here and there and you will be like "how did I say that?". I noticed this process happening to me over 11 years of learning 4 languages and I base my method on all those effects. The key to noticing your subconscious mind is taking an observer position. Start noticing quick thoughts that pop-up in your head out of nowhere, often times they come directly from subconscious. But the key here is to MASSIVELY push yourself in learning and practicing. Otherwise you subconscious mind will not get enough programming. You need to work on input to get the output."