Speaking with confidence will improve every area of your life, both professionally and personally. The same tone that makes you an attractive speaker personally, will also earn you respect and authority in your workplace. Below are seven tips on how to speak confidently.
- Slow down : Speaking at a reduced rate, commands respect and attention. When you speak to fast, it gives off the impression that you are nervous, insecure of lack self-control. Speaking in a calm deliberate manner gives the listener the impression that you are in control, and shows confidence. Find out how to speak slower by watching this video here.
- Do not jump in: Resist the urge to jump in when someone has barely finished their conversation. Jumping in and talking so soon may give the impression that the speaker is too eager. Wait a count or two, and speak in a measured tone. This way, you have time to formulate your response and speak in a calm, controlled way. It also shows the speaker that you were listening and interested in what he was saying.
- Filler words: Umm, ahhs, errs. These are filler words that take up empty space during someone’s conversation. They place you in an uncomfortable position, and make you look non- confident. When you feel a filler word coming up, take a pause, and let there be silence. Silent pauses are incredibly powerful and draw the listener in.
- Don’t be loud: People often mistake being confident for being loud. This is a commonly repeated mistake by both males and females at the work place. A loud voice or higher pitch does not project confidence, it actually projects authority and control, in a negative manner. The next time you want to be heard, focus on being an even pitch, and controlling the volume of your voice. People are drawn to a speaker with smooth cadence, rather than someone with loud pitch and volume.
- Breathing: Inhale, and complete breathing in, before you speak. People often speak on exhalation, and run out of breath when doing so. Remember to breathe in, feel your rib cage expand, before you start speaking. Click here to find out more.
- Effortless speech: Be aware of tension around lips, jaw, tongue when speaking. Here is an exercise you can do to reduce tension in jaw area: Take a slow deep breath. As you exhale, make a noise that’s like a yawn/sigh. Feel your jaw loosen and tongue relax.
- Add authority to your speech. People’s pitch goes up at the end of sentences when they are uncertain of their content. Upward pitch inflection occurs when people are asking questions. However this can happen when people are speaking normally too. If you would like to add a touch of confidence and respect to your speech, inflect downwards at the end of sentences.
Speak to me about working on your confidence during speaking, be it personally or professionally! I would love to hear your thoughts below on what stops you from communicating confidently at work. Let me know what has worked and what hasn’t.