When communicating in a professional environment, projecting confidence can make or break an interaction. Over the past two weeks we’ve discussed different aspects of communicating with confidence. Today, we finish our series with some final tips for polishing your confident air:
Check Your Intonation: Some people fall into vocal habits that characterize the way they speak. Some studies have shown that up to 38% of communication is conveyed in intonation! (http://www.businessballs.com/mehrabiancommunications.htm) One habit in particular that conveys a lack of confidence is a rising intonation at the end of each sentence, making statements sound like questions. Avoid this pattern at all costs, and end each sentence authoritatively.
Avoid Question Words: Another common speech pattern that can betray a lack of confidence is overusing question words such as “right?”, “okay?”, or “you know?” at the end of sentences. Although these phrases are warranted in certain situations, using them consistently makes it seem as though you are not fully confident in your message and are seeking the other person’s approval. These question words can also act as fillers, which can make your speech seem less competent. For more on filler words, check out this past blog: http://www.corporatespeechsolutions.com/filler-words/
Watch Your Hands: Be mindful of what you’re doing with your hands during a conversation. Often people fidget—twirling their hair, toying with jewelry, playing with items on their desk—without even realizing it. This can create the impression that you are nervous and unsure of yourself. Instead, your hands should rest naturally, gesturing subtly when appropriate. Check in with yourself once in a while and take note of how your hands are behaving as you speak.
Want to improve your communication skills and learn how to make the most of your professional interactions? Give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and let our team of corporate speech-language pathologists help you turn your speech into your most powerful professional tool. Don’t live in NYC? No problem! Our services are Skype ready, so CSS can help you improve your communication from anywhere in there world.