In order to be as effective as possible with your confident statements, you need to learn how to hold your body and use your voice. If you’re saying confident words, but your body or voice show that you’re unsure of yourself, people will believe your nonverbal communication instead of your words.

Your Body Posture

Your body posture should communicate self-assuredness and personal strength. Stand as tall as you are (or sit as tall as you are if you’re sitting), square your shoulders and straighten your back. Face the other person and stand or sit appropriately close. Maintain a calm and firm expression on your face.

Look them in the eyes. You don’t have to look straight on continuously. You can take your eyes off them some of the time you’re talking, but look at them as much as possible.

Your Voice

Speak in a conversational tone while you’re explaining the situation. Don’t talk harshly or let your voice be squeaky. Speak in a level, well-modulated voice at an even volume that is slightly loud (but no shouting).

Take your time and talk a little more slowly than the average rate of speech. This will make your words sound more serious. Make sure you have a natural inflection in your voice so it’s fairly even, not a monotone or “sing song.”

If you can, speak in a lower pitch. You may need to practice this to get it right. If you have a high-pitched voice, practice deliberately speaking in your lowest pitch.

Be sure to enunciate your words clearly. This is critical because the other person can’t know what you want unless they clearly understand what you’re saying. Speak clearly but naturally. Emphasize certain words if you’d like, especially ones that have to do with the harm their behavior is causing you and details in your request.

What to Do with Your Hands, Arms and Legs

Don’t cover your face or mouth or scratch your nose or head. You can wave your hands, point your finger (but not in an aggressive “I’m telling you so!” fashion), and push away from your face. Use gestures to highlight what you’re saying, perhaps describing in picture form what you’re saying.

Take up some space. Uncross your arms and legs. Spread out your arms, taking the arms of a chair if you’re sitting. If you’re sitting on a sofa, stretch your arm along the back of the sofa. Lean your arms across a desk.

All of these tips will help you feel self-confident as well as act in a self-confident manner.

Author's Bio: 

Vivian Harte is the co-author of Self-Esteem for Dummies in the Dummies series. She has helped over 12,000 people learn and use assertiveness skills during the last 14 years. She teaches online classes on assertiveness, self-confidence, and teamwork. She has a Bachelors degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Public Administration. She taught college classes for many years in Tucson, Arizona. She has two grown children who are both successful. She lives in Tucson with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

She offers kits with articles, guided visualizations, and songs as well as online courses, group coaching and 1-on-1 coaching, and you can find out more about these at her website, self-esteem-for-me.com. Discover how to be a stronger, more assertive person by downloading her free kit Develop Assertiveness for Strength!