How you say something holds equal importance to what you actually say. This means that you should learn how to speak with authority.
Learning to speak confidently will improve your life both personally and professionally. People will listen to what you say and respect you more.
How can you improve your speech to make this happen?
How to Speak with Authority
Take control of your voice. Keep reading to learn how to speak with confidence whether engaging in a one on one personal conversation or delivering a speech to a crowd.
Nobody wants to listen long to a mumble. Even the people trying to listen will not catch much of your message if you do not speak clearly.
To avoid mumbling, open your mouth wider and make it a point to enunciate your words. This may feel funny when you first start, but it will create authority in your words.
You can practice this at home by exaggerating all of the letter sounds. For example, people tend to drop “g”s, and “t”s at the end of their words. Say words with these letters to pointedly make the sound, and eventually, it will come naturally.
Slow Your Roll
Nerves can often get the best of us, especially if we want to say something super important. When this happens, we tend to quicken our speech.
Speaking too fast will not only make you sound like a nervous wreck. Similarly to mumbling, it will make people miss some of your words.
You want to make listening comfortable for your audience. Practicing breathing exercises can help you control your nerves, which will help you to slow down your speech.
Practice talking at home. See what it sounds like to say about 150 words per minute. Try to keep this rhythm for speaking with confidence.
Easier said than done. But people may find it difficult to take you seriously if you look like a pup who might piddle at their feet.
Just like quickening your speech, nerves can also cause you to shake. To accommodate for this, people tend to fidget.
You might see somebody twirl their hair, twiddle their thumbs, pull on their clothing, play with a pen, tap their feet, etc. Though better than physically shaking, it will still distract the audience.
Breathing exercises will also help with this. You may also want to practice purposeful hand gestures that will add power when learning how to speak confidently.
Silence sometimes holds more power than words. When learning to speak with authority, learn the art of pausing.
Building pauses into your speech breaks things up to create more audience engagement. It will also give your audience time to think about your words and answer crucial questions in their mind.
Use pauses at these strategic moments:
- Following your introduction
- Following a question
- Following key points
Train yourself to wait about 3-7 seconds before speaking again. Actually count it out in your head if you need to, so that insecurities do not get the opportunity to creep in through the silence.
Set the Tone
You need to control your tone in a number of ways if you want to speak with authority.
First, lift the volume of your voice. People need to actually hear you. Speaking loud enough for people to hear you gives you authority off the bat.
Also, play with the pitch of your voice. Exaggerate it to put power into your words. Use your pitch to emphasize certain words and leave the audience with a question.
You never want to keep the same volume and pitch throughout the entire speech though. This will annoy people and make it difficult to listen to your message.
Do you, um, tend to, uh, use fillers when you speak. These take away from the power of your message in any type of conversation. Eliminating fillers gives you an edge on your personal development.
People often unwittingly throw filler words like er, um, uh, okay, so, and I mean, into their speeches when they feel unsure about themselves. This website touches on some of the other unprofessional sounds people make during voiceovers, like untimely breaths and over pronunciations.
To stop doing this, record yourself speaking and listen to it at home to identify which filler words you use most often. Practice speaking at home, cautiously avoiding the fillers.
Though we did not mention this when talking about the importance of silence, utilize your pause when you feel a filler on the tip of your tongue. Taking a moment to gather your thoughts will help you recollect yourself and finish out your speech with a bang.
It may seem like it takes away from your authority. However, one pause that sends you back on track sounds much better than constant fillers.
Make Eye Contact
You can do a lot with a single look. Looking directly into another persons’ eyes denotes power and even some control.
Locking eyes demands that they listen to your every word. It makes you look confident.
Furthermore, people often associate looking away with lying. You want your audience to believe you so that they believe in you.
Use Appropriate Body Language
Your body says more than your mouth, from head to toe. Show authority through your use of body language.
Stand tall by pushing your shoulders back and holding your head high. This little adjustment makes a world of difference in making you look confident. In fact, it will actually make you feel more confident just by opening yourself up in this way.
Turn pacing into a purposeful walk. The movement will reassign nervous energy. If you use it to walk back and forth, towards and away from your audience in conjunction with your words, it will make you look captivating.
As we said earlier, use appropriate hand gestures. Point towards people, raise your arms, make gestures of strength, etc. This will also get rid of nervous energy, and make people listen more actively.
If you learn how to speak with authority, you actually generate power from within. You will find that people listen better and respect you more deeply.
We want to see you improve your life. Look to our website for more self-improvement tips!