How to Sound Confident (Even if You’re Not)


From Inc.:

Even if you have great ideas, nobody will listen to them if you sound like a wimp when you open your mouth. By contrast, even mediocre ideas seem profound when spoken with confidence.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to sound confident if you follow these simple rules:

1. Imagine yourself as your audience’s equal.

If you’re speaking with a CEO, imagine yourself as a CEO. If you’re speaking to engineers, imagine yourself as an engineer. Find and focus on the commonalities between yourself and your audience. If you’re not a supplicant you won’t sound like one.

2. Mentally rehearse each sentence.

You’ll seem massively less confident if you trip over your own words or half-articulate a half-baked sentence. Before you speak, take a brief moment to imagine, in brief, what you’re about say aloud. That pause makes you seem thoughtful and wise, BTW.

3. Speak from your chest not your throat or nose.

When people get nervous, their voices tend to move upwards so that the sound emerges from the throat or nose, which can make even deep wisdom sound like a whine. If you move your voice down into your chest, you’ll sound (and feel) more confident.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Inc.