You may think that speaking with confidence is only something you need to worry about if you make speeches a lot. But, did you know that your voice and how you speak says a lot about your self-confidence in everyday life? Becoming confident in your speech can help improve your relationships, allow you to reach your goals, and give you the self-esteem boost you need to embrace your dreams in life.
The Benefits of Being Confident in Your Speech
How you speak is important. It tells others whether you believe you are worthy of respect, which can change how they treat you. Learning to speak with authority and confidence does not always have to mean you are in charge or that you know everything. But it does tell the world that you are expecting to be treated fairly.
Keep reading to learn more about:
- the benefits of speaking with confidence,
- how your speech can make you feel more powerful (or give away your power to others),
- ways you can improve your speech to become a more confident speaker.
- how to improve your communication by being a better listener, as well.
While it may seem like you are either born with confidence or not, confidence is a skill you can learn and acquire over time. Learning to speak with confidence tells others you believe in yourself. Over time, it starts to make you actually have those beliefs yourself. In short, speaking with confidence and make you surer of yourself. (Source)
How do you project confidence in speaking?
What confidence really means is not that you expect that everything is going to be perfect. Real confidence is knowing that you can handle any outcome that comes your way. And when it comes to speaking, that means:
- being able to address others with ease,
- listen to the viewpoints and perspectives of others,
- project your ideas with authority and care.
Speaking confidently is not just about the words you use or the tone of your voice. It is also about how you stand, the way you move your body, your ability to connect with others in the room, and even your breath. (Source)
When you speak with confidence, the audience will feel at ease and believe what you are saying. When you project anxiousness or fear, you will have anxious and fearful listeners. The more awkward you feel and the more this comes across, the more awkward your listeners will feel for you. That means they are not really hearing what you have to say. Communication breaks down when your listeners do not believe in you or what you are saying.
The real benefit of speaking with confidence, though, is that it is one important way that you embrace and build upon your personal power. Your words, your tone, and your boundaries while communication with others are indicators of whether you are claiming and honoring your power.
How You Relinquish Power with Your Words
Your personal power is your confidence, competence, and strength, which you acquire throughout your life. It is your state of mind about whether you have control over your life. There may be ways that you are signaling to others, through your speech, that you give up your power. Words have power, and they can either elevate or diminish you.
When you use words that diminish who you are or what you are capable of doing, you are giving up your power. You are allowing others to see you as less-than or inferior. By giving this away, you lower your respect for yourself. Your words are the verbal embodiment of your power. Learning to choose your words carefully can help you feel more powerful and allow others to see that strength in you, as well.
Everyday Words that are Diminishing Your Message
Using words like “I’m just…” is an example of how you give away your power through speech. When you start a sentence with “I’m just…” you are telling the listener to not expect too much from you. You are lessening your authority or right to a viewpoint with those two little words. The word “just” makes it seem like you need to justify why you are speaking. You do not need it. It is not helpful. It gives away your power.
Another speech pattern that shows you are relinquishing your personal power is apologizing. Women especially apologize for things that they do not need to be sorry for, and many times, people apologize just for talking. When you apologize for speaking, you are telling the other person that what you have to say is not important. You are giving away your authority. Stop apologizing for having views, ideas, or opinions, and others will start taking you seriously. (Source)
Many people with low confidence have difficulty accepting compliments or praise from others. You diminish your capability and personal power when you refuse to accept the kind words of others. When you have done an excellent job, it is okay for someone to tell you so and to allow those words in your heart. Instead of pushing those compliments away, say “thank you.” You deserve appreciation.
How to Be A Better Communicator
It is important to remember that speaking is only part of the communication loop. If you want to show your confidence in all aspects of how you communicate with others, there are some other things you can do to improve how well you are listening and responding to those with whom you are speaking. There are five ways to improve your overall communication and become more confident in your interactions with others.
#1. Always take time to think about what others have said before responding.
#2. Do not walk away from confrontation or disagreement.
Learning to talk through differences of opinion or find compromises to problems is an important part of communicating. And when you are able to listen and respond thoughtfully to others, you show you respect their opinion as well as are confident in your ability to make it work.
Do not back down when others challenge you. Stay positive and have respect in your tone to keep the conversation moving forward. (Source)
If they are saying they agree, but their facial expressions or tone say different, ask more questions or dig deeper. Do not just accept that answer and move on.
#4. Make sure your conversation is two-way.
Ask questions and elicit responses, especially from those who have not taken part. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to voice their concerns or ideas.
#5. Making eye contact with the person you are addressing
Eye contact is crucial to show your confidence in what you are saying. Eye contact shows the other person you are listening and engaged, that you value what they are saying, and that you want to be there, talking with them.
Final Thoughts about Speaking with Confidence
Learning to speak with confidence can help you:
- improve your relationships with others,
- move ahead in your career,
- carry out important goals in your life,
- share your knowledge and views with others,
- honoring your own needs and priorities in life,
- help you reclaim personal power that you have lost by not being confident in yourself.
Like all skills, learning to speak with confidence is something you can master over time and with practice. There are many components to effective communication, including your voice’s pitch, tone, and rhythm, as well as nonverbal cues like your facial expressions and posture. Even learning to use silence and pauses can help you make your point more confidently to your listeners. (Source)
If you want to be more confident in what you are saying, you must believe the words you are using and communicate a message that is important to you. Above all else, you must be true to your values and beliefs if you want to interact confidently with others.
Practice these skills, and you will have all your listeners believing in your confidence in no time.
Stay confident and take care!
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