How to Communicate With Confidence
What you don’t say is just as important as what you say – sometimes more.
Don’t let bad body language undermine your good message. Shrug your shoulders, put your head up and get ready to make your point heard!
You may not even be aware of it, but your body is having a conversation with the person or people you are talking to. Keep your chin parallel to the floor, push your shoulders back and down, straighten your spine, and evenly distribute your body weight while standing or sitting. Lean forward slightly, but not bent. Leaning forward shows interest, but hunching over indicates stress. Similarly, keep your hands relaxed and open; Resist the temptation to rub them together, place them tightly on top of each other, or wriggle them. When speaking, keep hand gestures to a minimum as they can distract from what you are saying.
The eyes have it
We all know how important it is to maintain eye contact to convey sincerity, interest, and trust and, let’s face it, to make sure the other person is still paying attention when we’re talking. But there can be too much of a good thing, and that’s where the 50/70 rule comes in. To give appropriate attention without staring inappropriately, maintain eye contact about 50 percent of the time when speaking and 70 percent of the time when listening. Break your gaze with blinks, nods, and looking away to show that you’re thinking (only on the subject at hand, of course). Slowly look away; Doing this too quickly can make you seem nervous.
Best face forward
Ideally, our faces would remain natural, open, and pleasant throughout all conversations, but the reality is that our faces reflect our feelings. Relax your jaw, slide your tongue into your mouth, and start smiling. Opening your eyes slightly also raises your eyebrows, both of which convey intelligence. We’re not talking crazy, but definitely don’t squint; This is something to doubly bear in mind when outdoors, especially if it’s a bright day. Use your expressions consciously to communicate your emotions and feelings and to guide the conversation, but don’t be overly expressive as it can affect your credibility. When in doubt, practice in front of a mirror as professional speakers do.
Words are powerful, so speak them out. “She Sells Shells on the Beach” doesn’t need to be practiced before a big presentation, but it can’t hurt. Take a deep breath to open your diaphragm for a fuller, richer tone. Speak at a steady, easy-to-understand pace; speaking too fast sounds nervous, while speaking too slowly can seem less intelligent. Say goodbye to the wishy-washy “maybe,” “just,” and “maybe”; they can undermine your message. Also, refrain from using “uh,” “huh,” “hmm,” “nah,” “like,” and “you know” as filler words while gathering your thoughts. Have the confidence to stop and think when you need to. Let others take their turn; Avoid long stories or over-sharing.
Listen with confidence
Every conversation is an opportunity to build trust and deepen the connection, and active listening is an important part of this process. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact. This time, you’re the one looking for the non-verbal clues. Listen without interrupting, judging, or jumping to conclusions; Sometimes the speaker just wants an open ear to listen. Nod, say yes, and make encouraging noises that show you’re paying attention. stay focused; It’s all too easy to mentally step back to plan what to say next and lose track of the conversation in the process. If necessary, ask questions and paraphrase and summarize to show you get the message.