Speaking with confidence will improve every area of our life. We all know how important even a little bit of confidence can be in everyday situations, whether we hope to ace a meeting, improve our presentation skills or project more power and authority when speaking.
By following these steps, we’ll start to appear more confident, which will make some of us encounters more successful, which will instill more confidence in us. Just get started, and once it’s rolling the momentum will take over.
1. Good Posture: Stand up as tall as you can, pull your shoulder blades down and back as far as possible. This will feel really weird if you spend a lot of time hunched over a desk. Pick your chin up and look straight ahead, stop looking down while walking around, there’s a whole world out there for you to see. Use the champion stance: position one foot in front of the other, place your weight on the back foot, hold your head up, drop your shoulders back, lean your torso slightly forward and smile.
2. Smile and Eye Contact: People don’t smile enough these days, so we can change that scenario. When dealing with any situation or scenario where you’re uncomfortable, it’s easy to get caught up in your head, which means you probably have a sad look on your face. Not a fake smile, not a creepy smile, but a genuine smile. Stand in front of a mirror, close your eyes, and look down. Look up, smile, and open your eyes at the same time. Make a good Eye contact to build trust in others while talking.
3. Slow down: We have to learn to be slower, more effective pace that leant more authority to our talk. The most common mistake men make that prevents them from speaking with confidence is speaking too quickly. When a guy speaks quickly it often gives the impression that he’s nervous, insecure, or lacks self-control. It’s crucial then to practice speaking at a slower, more relaxed pace. Speaking in a calm, deliberate manner shows confidence and dominance.
4. Speak to one person at a time: Direct your focus on a particular person for each section of your speech, especially if that person has just asked you a question. Not only will it slightly distract you from the sea of other faces staring up at you, but it’ll make the experience feel more personal for everyone.
5. Know when to speak: Most folks make mistake of rushing into speak. We must take a moment and let other person finish speaking. Jumping in and talking immediately can make anyone look a little too eager and make the other person may feel as though she wasn’t being heard. A good practice then is work on pausing for a second or two after a person speaks before you start talking. Taking your time like this shows you’re relaxed, confident, and are actually interested in what the other person is saying.
6. Replace filler with stronger words: Filler words (words as “umm”, “uhh””, “like…”, etc.) are used to take up instead try to replace it with stronger filler words. When you need to gather your thoughts, use words such as “Now; You See; However,” etc. The sentence, “Um, I was thinking…” suddenly sounds much more definitive and powerful when slightly adjusted to “You see, I was thinking”. So if you want to sound more confident when speaking, eliminate these filler words completely. If you need a moment to think of what to say next simply pause and hold that silence. Silent pauses are incredibly powerful as they build tension and suck people in.
7. Adding authority to your speech: When people are uncertain of what they’re saying the pitch of their voice automatically goes up at the end of a sentences. You hear this all the time when people ask questions but it can happen when people give statements, too. If you want to add an extra touch of authority to your speech do the opposite and end your sentences by lowering your pitch. Even if you’re asking a question, this downward inflection is going to make you sound much more confident in what you’re asking.
8. Socialize by asking open ended questions: Questions that require more than a simple one word answer. When you ask open ended questions in a conversation, you get to find out more about the person you’re talking to by paying attention to their answers. If you know a lot more about a person, you’ll agree that it’s easier to have a conversation with them. So ask open ended questions when you’re socializing with new people, and you’ll notice how much more comfortable and confident you’ll be communicating with them.
Ask Open Ended Questions:
a. What keeps you going every day?
b. What do you like about that movie?
c. How do you define success?
d. Why do you listen to music?
e. What makes you happy?
Of course, the questions have to be relevant to the situation, and so on. But any question that sparks conversation, as opposed to a “yes” or “no” answer will do the trick.
9. Be expressive with your emotions: When I first started speaking, I can admit that I was nervous. There are times that no matter what you tell yourself to calm your concerns, it just doesn’t work. Anxieties aren’t always the easiest thing to quell. I often couldn’t stop the tensions, but I found that I could hide them. Playing up my emotions by really getting into the excitement of my story or working to honestly feel the disappointment I had experienced, it’s much easier to hide one emotion with another than it is to hide an emotion by suppressing it. Using hand gestures is one way to be expressive.
10. Practice Every day: I have learned through personal experience that speaking is something you can build up but, you have to be willing to put in the time. Just as in school, sports and business, the more I practiced, the more confident I was and the better I’d perform. With more and more practice talking with confidence while talking to people, I could visibly see my performances improving. And you can’t help but gain self-esteem with the more experience you have. I would also recommend to read these books for more better insight:
a. How to Win friends and Influence people – Dale Carnegie.
b. Speak to win – Brain Tracy
c. Speak with power and confidence – Patrick Collins.