When I was in a meeting a few years ago, one of my colleagues addressed us, trying to get us to support him in a new project. Although he had important things to say and his project was interesting, he delivered the message so poorly, no one bought into his vision. He didn’t speak with conviction.
If you want to be successful at anything, whether its work, social life, or even dating and relationships, you’ll need to know how to communicate. And, you’ll need to communicate assertively and strongly if you want to achieve your objective (whatever that may be). So, if you can’t communicate effectively, you’ll fail in your endeavors that require the persuasion of other people.
We’ve already discussed how you need to speak your mind. You also need to speak with confidence and conviction. Your opinions and evidence might be great, but, if you can’t share them in way that connects with others and persuades them, you’ll be out of luck. With that in mind, here are a four tips to speak with confidence.
Raise Your Voice And Speak Slowly
If you want to command others, then have a commanding voice. Speak from your diaphragm, not your voice box, and deepen your voice. Also, articulate your words and speak slowly. Most people speak way too quickly, so slowing down means you get to the right speed.
This way of speaking creates a more powerful, booming tone and steady pace that others will respect and understand. While you don’t want to overdo it and appear comically bombastic (or ridiculously slow), a steady, relaxed speech given in a commanding voice is very powerful.
If you are naturally shy, you might think all of this is overblown. However, what you think is “too much” is actually “just right” to everyone else.
If you’re going to say it, then do so like you’re actually convinced of the truth of it. This means developing confidence in yourself, your ideas, and your work. If you truly believe in what you’re saying, then it gives you a solid foundation to express yourself and you can do so with authenticity and enthusiasm.
Too many people sell products (or themselves) they clearly don’t believe in. And, that’s fine. But, if you don’t buy what you’re saying, then don’t expect people to buy it either. If you don’t believe in yourself, then don’t expect people to believe in you either.
So, from now on, when you say something, do so like you want to be heard and even deserve to be heard.
Have Confident Posture
Body language is an important part of communication, sometimes even more important than the words you use. Keep your head high, stand up straight, and match your confident speech to your confident posture.
Watch the confident leaders around you. Look at how their body looks when they address others. Usually they are relaxed with open body language. To get started, avoid crossing your arms and blocking your crotch or chest. A lot of insecure people do this.
Above all, have the body language of someone who is confident and in charge.
Avoid Weasel Words
If you want to speak with conviction, then avoid using language that undermines your clear, confident message. These are called “weasel words” and they are used to hedge.
“I think” “Probably” “Often” and “Many” are good examples.
“My services will revolutionize your life” is a clear statement.
“I think my services will revolutionize many lives” uses hedging language.
To speak with conviction, make absolute statements. Nuance is good in many contexts, but, if you’re trying to sell yourself or a product, too much nuance only harms your chances of success. Save the nuance for later. If you want to speak with conviction and convince others, be clear, concise, and believe it.