When you display confidence in a conversation, you speak with authority, are personable and will attract others with your self-assurance and your charm. As with most things, learning to speak with confidence takes plenty of practice. Here are some tips to help you master the art of speaking with more authority.
First, you should observe others. Find someone you know that speaks with confidence and examine their mannerisms. This could be a friend, professor or leader. Note specific details of their delivery such as their voice inflections, how they connect with listeners and their body language when speaking. If you are struggling to find a good speaker, look for videos on YouTube of great speeches. This is an excellent resource you can use to increase social confidence and speaking skills. Once you have observed several others and noted some of their characteristics, it’s time to put these into practice.
To begin, find someone you trust or you can even speak in a mirror. Start with normal small talk, but be mindful of your behaviors during your conversation. Here is a checklist of behaviors you or your listener can check to see if you are meeting:
- Did you speak with authority? People that display confidence give the impression they are knowledgeable. This means they don’t backtrack, they don’t sway easily when they receive contrasting opinions and they make strong supporting points to back up what they say.
- Do you have good body language when speaking? When you are shy, you tend to scrunch up your shoulders, avoid eye contact and speak softly. In turn, it makes it awkward for those listening to you, because they sense you are uncomfortable and this makes them feel the same way. Alternatively, when you speak with confidence, your posture is upright, you maintain eye contact with the people you talk to, your voice is firm yet not overpowering and you are able to carry on the conversation in an articulate manner. Here’s a guide on how to learn body language if you are interested.
- Does your speech have a natural rhythm? This means you are unafraid to take long pauses when reflecting on a thought and you don’t speak in run-on sentences. Those that exhibit a lack of confidence fear silence and they will do anything to prevent it from occurring. If you or your listener catch you filling the silence with words such as so, um or well, then you know it’s an area you need to work on.
- Do you express your personality when you speak? Do you smile when talking to others? Does your voice inflect when speaking about something exciting? These are things you want to be mindful of because when you express your personality you attract others. Meanwhile, if you speak in a monotone voice, don’t smile or express any excitement, it’s difficult for others to remain interested in what you say.
- Are you too confident? There’s a fine balance between being confident in yourself or thinking you are better than someone else. If you notice you are leaning toward the latter, it’s imperative that you readjust your thinking and behaviors accordingly.
- Do you express sound judgment when speaking to others? When you speak with confidence, think of yourself as being a leader. This will help you determine whether the subject matter of the conversation is appropriate because you are mindful of the fact others may follow your example.
As you start to polish your skills, you will discover that more people will take notice. Even when you have full confidence in your abilities, it’s important to go back and practice occasionally, so you remain polished.
Speaking with confidence is extremely important because it can help you improve your life. Not only can this help you gain more friends, your confidence can extend into your professional life as well. When you exude confidence, it can help you land the job because others will see you are confident in your abilities and are competent. Therefore, it’s vital that you practice and brush up on speaking with confidence, as this practice can pay huge dividends down the road.