how to speak with authority

How to Speak with Authority-7 Steps to Being Authoritative

Speaking with authority is necessary when you’re in your wheelhouse, both in your role at work and in your personal life. When you communicate your message, it needs to come out with authority and confidence. 

Now don’t confuse speaking authoritatively with being an aggressive speaker. If you’re trying to speak assertively and authoritatively and you end up sounding aggressive, you’re doing it wrong. But don’t be afraid, here I’m going to show you how to speak authority.

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Authoritative speaking.

Being an authoritative speaker is how we get hired for jobs and get people to follow our call to action. It helps us to be persuasive, speak up in meetings, and have incredible communication skills at work.

Yet almost nowhere in our lives are we trained to be authoritative, confident speakers. We travel through our careers and lives without anyone telling us how to manage others, make small talk, become incredible public speakers, or be convincing

How many of you would trade in that Trigonometry class for learning the process of becoming an authoritative communicator?

When you talk with confidence and authority, it shows that you are prepared and know what you’re talking about. Authoritative speaking gets people to trust you and take you seriously. And it gets them to do what you need them to do immediately.

How to Make Your Speaking Voice Sound Better

Demonstrate expertise in your field.

Communicating with confidence demonstrates to others that you have the skills necessary to do your job and then some. Speaking confidently and with authority conveys your expertise in your field. It leads to great communication which is essential for people to get along well and to form strong, successful relationships.

Your tone of voice, inflection, body language, and how you formulate your words convey information about who you are and how you think. Just make sure your verbal brand is aligned with who you are.

Don't confuse being authoritative with being aggressive.

Authoritative people weren’t born that way. Being authoritative is a learned skill, not a gift. These crystal clear speakers have made being a better communicator a priority in their lives.

Don’t confuse being authoritative with being aggressive. If you’re trying to be authoritative, but end up sounding aggressive, you’re doing it wrong.

I’ve heard many people say that they’ve tried to sound assertive but ended up sounding aggressive. They’ve just been using the wrong techniques. 

You don’t want to force your voice out with your throat! You’ll need to relax your throat.

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 How to Speak with Authority

  1. Acknowledge that your message is valuable, and you deserve for people to hear it. You’re doing your firm or your family a favor by delivering your message. If you’re the CMO, you’re not giving legal advice. You’re providing people with important information about Marketing. Many of those folks don’t know anything about marketing so they need your message.
  2. Be relaxed. The absolute foundation for doing anything well is to eliminate tension from your musculature. You’re not going to see Tiger Woods freaking out before a golf tournament. He’s as cool as a cucumber. That’s half the battle. We humans walk around with a tremendous amount of tension in our musculature. It’s our responsibility to become aware of it and eliminate it.
  3. Establish trust by keeping your body open and using a warm smile. Look into the mirror to see if your face has a scrunched, tense look. If so, relax those muscles.
  4. Remove undermining words and phrasesFiller words take away your power and authority. “I believe,” “I think,” “I just,” have no place in your speech. They serve no purpose but to undermine you.
  5. Use pauses within your sentences-don’t stop after every two words, but do break between phrases. Did you ever hear someone speak with dastardly run-on sentences? They keep going so much that you can’t remember how they started their story. You thought run-on sentences were only something people do in writing, right? Oh no, they negatively impact the authority with which you speak. Here’s an example. Read this sentence aloud and take a breath in at the slash. “Have a look at the minutes/ and get back to me with your suggestions.”

    More info on using pauses in this article on slowing down your speech.

  6. Use a full, resonant voice. Whiny voices that go up at the end or use glottal fry do not sound authoritative—quite the opposite. Listen to yourself on the recorder without hatin’ on yourself. The voice you hear on the recorder is the one that everyone else hears. The one you hear in your head is bone-conducted, from your mouth to your ears inside your head. Remember that sound is air molecules vibrating, and the more air you use, the fuller, more resonant you’ll sound.

    Here’s how to improve the sound of your voice.

  7. Be Concise. Speak in chunks with pauses in between. Wordiness loses people’s attention. And we can’t afford that!

    Here’s how to be concise when speaking.

  8. Practice until it becomes a habit in your life. You won’t have to practice everything you’ll ever say. You want to break down your practice into segments. Maybe start with your team first, then your boss, then your spouse. Master each communicative situation before you go on to the next. Of course, you don’t have to go it alone. I am here for you. Have a chat with me, and we’ll design a program for you that works lickety-split.

Authority paired with warmth, not aggression.

Being authoritative will change your life for the better. You won’t believe the impact it’ll have on your relationships. They will get infinitely better.

Don’t be afraid that being authoritative will make you seem demanding or aggressive. When you do it with my techniques you’ll sound confident, authoritative, and warm. All the love will come out. You’ll end up being influential.

Anyone who’s trying to sound authoritative and ends up sounding aggressive is doing it wrong.

No matter what you’re doing, you can make it better, faster–and more important–by being authoritative. You’ll see how much better things will work when you sound authoritative. Learn how to communicate with authority by following my proven techniques. You’ll never be overlooked again.

You will show much more love, and spend less time having to convince people to do stuff 🙂

How to Speak Up in Meetings

Practice authoritative speaking.

Now that you know the steps involved you’ll want to practice using them. I recommend starting in the lower-stakes situations of your life and working your way up to the more challenging situations.

So practice in meetings with your team and work your way up to speaking to the CEO or interviews on The Today Show or Oprah.

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Want to speak authoritatively? The Voice Spa will train you.

The Voice Spa first teaches you to be habitually relaxed in all high-stakes situations. You’ll be ultra-confident and cool as a cucumber being interview on Bloomberg or GMA. You’ll be smooth as silk during an interview or on Shark Tank 🙂

Next, you learn to use a concise speaking style. Then I teach you the techniques to being authoritative & persuasive. I give you lots of practice.

You’ll learn to use a back resonance which gives you a very professional and authoritative sound. Your voice will be so magnetic people will do precisely what you tell them to do.

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If you do your homework (it’s not brain surgery but requires some diligence), you’ll end up being an incredibly well-spoken persuasive person. You’ll still be you, only more compelling and influential.

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I want to hear from you!

What are your tips for sounding authoritative?

How important is it to sound confident and authoritative to you?

Have you tried any of the above? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

I know! I said there are 7 steps, but I added another one, I hope that’s ok 🙂

16 thoughts on “How to Speak with Authority-7 Steps to Being Authoritative”

    1. It does, Ahmed! If you learn to speak in “chunks” or bullets and leave a pause, it ends up taking less time 🙂

  1. Haha! Sure I’d trade trig for communication skills! I’d trade nearly any of my classes for communication skills training. This article is awesome. What a waste a lot of my classes were. And how much better off would I be now if I’d had that kind of training. Instead, small talk is a struggle sometimes, and coming across as authoritative is almost impossible. Well, until now, but I’ve got to work on it

  2. I remember searching for “how to sound assertive” and there were lots of articles saying women shouldn’t try to sound assertive because they end up sounding aggressive. That never sat well with me. But you’re saying that it just means they’re doing it wrong. if they sound aggressive. Makes perfect sense.
    Imagine, articles telling women not to try to sound assertive. I think it was fast company. Crazy.
    Thank you for your incredible blog. The information you’re delivering is so insightful.

    1. Yes, I’ve heard that many times. They’re essentially telling women not to improve themselves. What a racket!

  3. I have almost never been taken seriously, even though I have innovative ideas that other people sometimes snatch as their own and receive the rewards for them. I know this is due to my voice – which sounds like a little kid (something physical I can’t do anything about) and I also am extremely shy and don’t know how to deserve success. I love these pointers you give. They are so sensible and practical. Thanks!

    1. Hi Brittney!
      It breaks my heart when I hear people saying that they have a voice they can’t do anything about. That’s just not true. I can teach you to have a full, resonant voice that’s so attractive! You’ll adore it and people will be compelled by you. You can get into my schedule–at the bottom of every blog article is a link to my schedule. Or you can take The Voice Spa, people LOVE it even after the first lesson. I go over all the physical things you have to do to have a gorgeous voice.

  4. Ooh, love these tips. I think women AND men get imposter syndrome where they feel like they aren’t impressive enough to talk on something authoritatively. I know especially as a young woman that I have to stop and be intentional about how I’m talking if I want to sound like I know something (my tendency is to act like I’m not quite sure even if I am!). I use so. many. filler. words. Need to toss them from my vocab, but the addiction is real haha.

  5. Anastacia Ajayi

    They should teach this in school! I’ve been reading your posts and really think your content provides the necessary skills required to help people advance in their career/business. You learn trig in school which is fine but communication skills is just as important since in life we deal with people.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  6. If you are not being listened to actively by others, your confidence takes a downward spiral. Being authoritative gives you confidence and sometimes it is important to get the work done. The steps discussed here are really important. I’ll surely keep that in mind the next time I am communicating with my staff.

  7. Real good tips ma’am especially the ones which says use pause because my problem was I used to speak a lot of things without taking a pause also you said to be concise which was the problem I was facing I was never being concise and utter more than required and also was not taking frequent pause while having a conversation with your tips helped me a lot to improve thanks a lot mam also I am frequently practicing now keeping in mind the tips.

  8. Speaking with authority breeds trust with your audience. We see it all the time if 2 people tell us the same thing we tend to believe the one that has a very authoritative and confident presence. I’ve always tried speaking with authority but I always ended up sounding mean!

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