Making Good Speakers Great

Project Confidence
Making Your Voice Sound Confident

A significant challenge confronting young business professionals or people stepping into a new role is the ability to project confidence when speaking in front of clients, colleagues and senior managers. Contrary to what you might assume, feeling confident doesn’t guarantee you’ll project confidence. Bad communication habits can sabotage your image. That can be frustrating for everyone involved, resulting in failure and missed opportunities.

You don’t project confidence if your voice is too small or quiet. There’s nothing wrong with quietness—there’s a time and place for that—but not when you have the floor. You have to know how it feels to engage your voice fully, giving it the clarity and impact we associate with strength and confidence. You don’t have to be loud, but you do have to fill the room and inhabit the space with a sense of ease and generosity.

You don’t project confidence if your voice is flat and monotone. Trying to appear calm, cool and relaxed robs you of the energy needed for expressive and compelling delivery. A confident voice is animated and dynamic. Learn to speak in a way that has you firing on all cylinders, right out of the gate. Performance pressure and nervousness tend to constrain your delivery, so make a conscious effort to counteract that inclination.

You don’t project confidence if you mumble. Speaking too fast, not opening your mouth and allowing the ends of phrases to trail off distort your pronunciation and make you difficult to understand. Your listeners get the sense you don’t really want them to hear what you’re saying or that you’re indifferent. Confident communicators aren’t afraid to commit, delivering their message in a way that guarantees clarity. Learn to slow down, speak distinctly and make every word count.

You don’t project confidence if you use up-speak, ending statements in a way that drifts upward and sounds like a question. It makes you seem uncertain. Also, up-speak is characteristic of adolescents and teenagers, so it suggests youthfulness. Youthful uncertainty does nothing to reinforce your credibility. A confident speaker sounds definite. Their statements are inflected downward in a way that anchors the message. It might feel overly strong at first, but that’s probably just because you’re not used to it.

Everyone deserves a chance—hopefully more than one—to show what she or he can do. So when it’s your turn to step into the spotlight, you want to make the most of that opportunity. You want to project confidence. While you can’t control how your audience responds to you, you do control what you put out there. So make sure your listeners see who you really are, not some version of you that’s distorted by bad habits undermining your professional image.

Learn how it feels to speak with your whole voice. Give yourself permission to be fully engaged in the performance. Deliver your message with clarity and commitment. If you don’t know how to do that, get some help. Your ability to project confidence is an asset that will pay off in every area of your professional life, and it will become increasingly important as you progress in your career. Learn to project confidence. It’s worth your attention.


The Sound of Success
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Your Confident Voice
This 145-minute mp3 download is a complete speaking voice course. The simple but amazingly effective program is on sale this month!

Overcoming Stage Fright and
Performance Anxiety

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