Did you know that the number one desired outcome of communication skills coaching is to increase self-confidence speaking? Whether the situation is to speak to the boss, a roomful of people or a large massive crowd, having the self-confidence to deliver the message in a way that resonates is priority. Leaders know that self-confidence will give them the edge when trying to convince or persuade others of their point of view.

What does self-confidence sound like? How do you know that someone has self-confidence? The sound of self-confidence is rooted in your speech, language and voice skills. Here are five tricks you can begin to listen for and then implement immediately to sound self-confident.

1. Learn to speak with enough volume. If you can’t be heard because you speak to softly, you won’t sound confident. Think of your mouth opening like it is the large end of a megaphone. The bigger your mouth opening, the larger the space in your mouth for the sound waves to bounce off of resulting in a louder sound (just like a real megaphone).

2. When you answer, give short responses that are 15 seconds long. That’s about a sentence or two. Not sure how to do this? Read the one sentence movie descriptions on IMDb.com as examples as a way to learn how to be concise. For example, look up your favorite movies and see how they are described in one sentence. Now try creating your own 15-second responses to common questions you get asked. Learn to answer with the most important thing you want others to know.

3. Remove distractions especially word fillers. A word filler is a meaningless word or phrase that indicates hesitation or nervousness. Not sure if you have any? Record yourself telling a short story about how to make something. Listen back and count your word fillers. Word fillers can be any word that is said repeatedly. Here are a few of the common ones: um, uh, you know, you know what I mean, so, and, like, okay, right, etc.

4. Eliminate uptalk. Uptalk is when you say a sentence and you inflect your pitch upwards on words in the sentence or at the ends of sentences. It will sound like you are asking a question (even though you are making a statement). If you use this particular speech pattern, you will sound doubtful and unsure.

5. Slow down your rate. You will sound relaxed, comfortable and confident. Set your phone timer for one minute. Read the following paragraph which contains 154 words:

A Friends University survey found that the simple act of throwing a Frisbee around can help diffuse stress. Four out of five students who participated in the survey said that Frisbee tossing was a fun, free, and effective method of diffusing stress.

Frisbee throwing is believed to facilitate the release of dopamine into the system, inducing a familiar feeling to that felt after a satisfying act such as eating a delicious fajita.

Fiona Affleck, a sophomore at Friends University, described the benefits of Frisbee.

“Frisbee, for me, is a fantastic example of affordable and enjoyable physical activity.”

Felicity, a 19-year-old student from the Alpha Mega House, confirmed this, “I always have a fun thing to be doing in the afternoons!”

Even the professors and other faculty can be frequently seen throwing Frisbee. It seems to be a fact that Frisbee throwing is a favorable way for anyone to experience physical fitness and defy stress.

Can you read the paragraph in a minute? Or are you done way before the minute is up? If you get done way before the minute is up, you are speaking too quickly. You’ll need to practice reading the paragraph again and aim for 150 words per minute. Now, the tricky part….can you speak conversationally at that same speed? People who speak too quickly are not perceived as confident speakers. They are rushed, intense or don’t have time.

Your speech, language and voice skills are a confidence indicator: volume, conciseness, uptalk, distractions, and your rate of speech are all areas you can develop to increase the sound of confidence.

Not feeling confident about the way you sound? You are not alone. In fact, most people don’t like the way they sound. Take the speech, language, and voice confidence quiz to find out if your sound is holding you back. https://clearly-speaking.com/

Author's Bio: 

Lynda Waltner Stucky, a coach, author and speaker, is committed to helping professional leaders reach their potential and align the way they sound with their professional values and roles. She teaches executives how to use their speech, language and voice effectively to establish credibility, position themselves within their company, and enhance their reputation as a topic authority.