There’s nothing like a lack of confidence to hinder your success–both in relationships and at work. Not knowing what to say, the quivering voice, the passive wording, the fast-talking; all add up as a wedge between you and success.
And you know the confident people? The folks who exude executive presence and have people eating out of the palm of their hands. They speak concisely and authoritatively. They appear so confident, tell great stories and enamor people so much that they get the job and great friends.
You can speak more confidently, too.
So have no fear! There are simple steps to sounding more confident, and I’m going to teach them to you here.
Let’s talk about the techniques these compelling folks have to sound more confident. And the steps to implementing them into your life are more straightforward than you think.
How to Sound More Confident.
If no one has taught you to sound confident, how would you know how to do it?
- Speak in concise bullets.
- Ditch the preamble & filler words.
- Open your body language.
- Use a relaxed, lower pitch.
- Have “executive presence.”
- Use air for speech.
- Stop talking in your throat.
- Use a warm, authoritative voice.
- Make friendly eye contact and smile.
Sounding more confident is what gets you ahead in life. Let’s examine more carefully:
Today is the last day of your not sounding confident!
Say goodbye to not being credible when you deliver your ideas in a meeting. Arrivederci to not organizing your thoughts into words. Adios to fast-talking speech, filler words, and a high-pitched voice!
Say hello to a new, confident you!
To sound more confident, use a relaxed, lower pitch.
Relaxed voices sound confident. Deeper pitches are easier to hear & process. Remember, most people are speaking with a pitch that’s too high due to physiological tension.
But don’t just put on a fake voice! A contrived voice won’t work and may cause damage to your vocal folds. No! You must learn to relax your vocal mechanism altogether.
Get rid of the tension that’s in your throat, your face, mouth, and shoulders. You’ll end up with a confident and authoritative voice. I can teach you how.
Confident folks have open body language.
You’re not going to close the deal with your arms crossed. Having your legs crossed doesn’t help either. The more open your body and your face, the more people are going to believe in you.
Why is this true? Evolution. When we feel defensive we close our bodies for protection against sticks and stones. Our bodies can control our emotions. So when you have your arms and legs crossed you can feel a bit defensive or negative as a result.
Also, when you have open body language it becomes contagious and others become more open to your ideas. Win/win!
Want some tricks?
Sit on your hands if you’re trying to drop the arms crossed habit. Pretend your feet are glued to the floor to practice not crossing your legs.
Remember to sit at the back of your chair when you’re in a meeting, even if it’s virtual! Your body language impacts you emotionally, and you want to be relaxed and in control of your delivery.
To speak more confidently, be more concise.
There’s nothing like the old, rambling story that never seems to reach the end to take away your credibility and make you feel insecure. You need that like you need another hole in your head.
Instead, break up your ideas into bullets, and pause between them. You may need to put a mite-bit of time in here.
Ideally, you’ll record your story or your idea and then listen to it. Without shame!!! Stop being mean to yourself about your ability to communicate, measure where you are now and continue to strive for tremendous success!
(This process takes a total of about 5 minutes, too. So you have no excuse 😀 If you can’t do it on your own, let me help you.)
Then rewrite it into bullets. Next, practice it with your cat, dog, hedgehog, or mirror. Re-record yourself and behold the beauty and the confidence!
You’re thinking, “who the heck was that amazingly confident person!”
Being concise helps you in all areas of your life. This is such a big deal, people being circumlocutious, that I wrote a special article just for it. How to Be Concise When Speaking You can follow along with it as it goes into more detail.
If you want to sound confident don't speak in your throat.
Your voice doesn’t only happen in your voice box/larynx. It comes from your lungs and resonates throughout your vocal mechanism. Our speech happens on the exhale. The more air you use, the better you sound!
So take a breath in (using abdominal breathing!) and let your words out on your exhalation. Your pitch will be lower and more resonant sounding.
Record yourself doing this and once again you won’t believe how confident and compelling you sound!
Upgrade your confidence with executive presence.
Executive presence (EP) is strength, composure, and aplomb. It’s warmth, kindness, and authority. It’s magnetic & serene. EP folks compel others and quickly get them to follow their call to action.
People with executive presence don’t get upset and flummoxed because they don’t equate their identity with their thoughts. They will not get mad at you if you disagree with them. They are confident in their ideas but don’t shoot people down for having alternate views. This isn’t a new concept or skill, but it hasn’t been taught in school for hundreds of years.
Ditch the preamble.
Confidence doesn’t come from starting sentences or even meetings with a bunch of nonsense words. Use direct, active language that gets to the point.
If you want to sound more confident, don’t use excessive words or hackneyed expressions.
Don’t start with “Well” or (gasp) “As I said before…) And you don’t have to start a meeting with, “Thank you, everyone, for, um, coming to the meeting this afternoon…” They know it’s a meeting, and they know it’s the afternoon. I dare you not to say the word “meeting” during a meeting.
Let’s play a little game. In the next few meetings you’re in, listen to the lead person, and write down the first few sentences, including the filler/nonwords. I’m willing to bet he/she/che doesn’t describe the discussion’s goal in the first 2 or 3 sentences.
I’m dying to hear your results. Right or wrong, let me know in the comments! 😀
We’re trying to save time in meetings, my friends! But we also need to appear ultra-confident, so let’s reduce the number of words we use by at least 25%.
Confident people are excellent communicators.
They know how to make small talk, network, and establish strong relationships. They know how to be influential and diffuse difficult conversations. They present themselves with confidence.
They weren’t born with it. And it sure as heck isn’t Maybelline. They learned the techniques and practiced them. Why? Because those are the qualities that lead to a happy and successful life.
Have you learned to talk with confidence?
Or perhaps it’s still a work in progress? I want to hear from you! Please comment below and questions or critiques! What have you learned about speaking confidently? Any tips to share?