Publications & Products
Volume 5, Issue 4

Sound More Confident By Following Simple Advice

Whether giving a speech or talking to colleagues, leaders can sound more confident by speaking slower and being more expressive with their hands, writes a communications expert.

Sandra Landrum, career advice columnist, recently shared several tips to sound more confident, including:

  • Don't articulate a statement as a question. "To project your ideas with confidence, don't let your voice creep upward at the end of a sentence," she writes. "Maintain an even tone of voice and finish your statements with periods, not question marks."
  • Slow down. "If you speak too slowly, you run the risk of putting your audience to sleep," Landrum writes. "And if you talk too quickly, you can sound amateurish or nervous, like you're trying to get it over with as fast as you can. That's why 190 words per minute is the sweet spot you should aim for."
  • Use your hands. "While some physical gestures, such as fiddling with clothing or touching hair, can distract or convey a lack of confidence, using your hands when you speak is a great way to communicate your excitement and knowledge about the topic," she writes.
  • Don't use caveats and filler phrases. "Do you ever begin your sentences with ‘This is just my opinion,' ‘Sorry,' ‘I'm still working on this,' ‘Well,' ‘I mean,' or any number of other negative or useless prefaces?" Landrum asks "Most people do as a matter of habit or nervousness, but caveats and fillers can damage the confident tone you're trying to strike."

This article is from the July 27, 2015 issue.

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