Whether you are speaking in front of a group, speaking to a client or speaking to your friends, it is important to speak confidently. When I first started my job as a Digital Marketer for a Digital Marketing Agency in NYC, one of the requirements was I had to communicate confidently & efficiently. I had to completely change my way of thinking about how I spoke. In the past years, I would use filler words such as “like” & I didn’t really pay attention to my speaking habits. Well, I did my research, worked on my speaking habits, & I compiled a list for you so that you can learn how to speak confidently too.
1. Pay Attention To The Tone Of Your Voice
Are you ending every sentence to sound like a question even when you are saying a statement? It’s time to stop that habit. Imagine someone saying an important statement, but then they end it sounding unsure. It will make you completely question the validity of their statement. If you want to sound confident, end every statement strongly. Do not end it sounding like you are asking a question.
2. Don’t Use Words That You Are Unsure Of How To Use Correctly
You may think using a certain word will make you sound smarter, but if you use the word in a way that doesn’t make sense, then it will have the complete opposite effect. You will leave people thinking you don’t know how to use the word properly in a sentence.
3. Record Yourself Speaking & Listen To Yourself
This is a great way to practice speaking more confidently. You may think you are speaking a certain way, but you don’t really know how you sound until you record yourself. You’ll be able to catch the tone of your voice or you be able to catch if you are using the word “like” & you’ll be able to take the steps to fix it.
4. Watch Videos Of People With Great Speaking Habits
If you admire someone’s speaking habits, watch videos of that person speaking & practice speaking the same way. Practice makes perfect.
5. Avoid Using Passive Language
You may have said the most powerful, confident statement, but if you end it with “I think,” it completely takes away the power of your statement. You look unsure & not confident about what you are saying. Don’t use words such as “I think” or “I believe.” If you think it, say it. If you believe it, say it. You don’t need to add those words to your statement.
6. Eliminate Filler Words
This may be an obvious one, but try to limit the amount of filler words that you use. Don’t fill your sentence with words like “um,” “like” or “uh.” If you eliminate your usage of filler words, then you will automatically sound more confident.
7. Speak Slowly
If you speak really quickly, it appears that you just want to get the words out & you don’t feel confident in what you are saying. Speak slowly. Remember to pause during key times during your statement. Don’t try to spit out all of the words at once. You are important. Your statement can take up a minute or two of the person’s time. If you remember to speak slowly, you will automatically sound more confident.
8. Stay Present In The Moment
Think about what you are going to say next & think about the tone of your voice. Look at the person in front of you & be observant of how they are receiving your statement. If you are thinking about something else & not thinking about what you are saying next then you won’t sound confident. Great speakers are completely present when they are speaking.
9. Stop Slouching
Sit up straight or stand up straight when you are speaking. You will automatically sound & look more confident. Think about it. If someone is slouching or holding their body in a way that appears timid, will you think they are a confident speaker? In most cases, you will think the person standing up straight is more confident.
10. Read More Books
The best way to grow your vocabulary, knowledge & speaking skills is reading. Pick up a book of an author whom you admire & read a chapter of the book out loud. You will hear how you sound & you’ll be able to practice sounding like this author. As I mentioned before, practice makes perfect especially when you are trying to speak more confidently.
Alright guys & gals, it’s time for some homework. The only way to actually work on your speaking skills is to take the steps to change how you are currently speaking. Pick one of these tips & try implementing it for a week. Write down your progress at the end of the week. If you feel like you have mastered it, move on to the next tip. Don’t try to implement every tip at once. Master one before moving on to the next. Once you work on all 10 tips, you will be speaking much more confidently.