Knowing how to talk confidently ensures your audience listens intently and remembers what you say.
It depends on many factors, including tone of voice, pitch, pauses, posture, and an overall confident personality.
There are other lesser-known techniques that public speakers and successful voice coaches use that result in persuasion and audience attention.
These techniques are based on research and analyses of TED talks and public seminars.
Keep these tips in mind and make a list to improve each factor in your everyday conversations.
- Expert Tips to Talk Confidently
- 1. Breathe steadily.
- 2. Talk slowly and firmly.
- 3. Take strategic pauses.
- 4. Improve your speaking tone.
- 5. Develop a confident voice.
- 6. Maintain eye contact.
- 7. Don’t force yourself to fill the silence.
- 8. Develop a confident personality.
- 9. Try yoga for social anxiety.
- 10. Train with Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
- How To Talk Confidently
Expert Tips to Talk Confidently
Talking with confidence matters more than most things in social life.
No matter how great your ideas are, they are useless if you cannot convey them with authority to your audience.
Below are tips that will help your confidence in any social setting, including a networking event, a TED Talk, or a college presentation.
1. Breathe steadily.
Breathing is something most people don’t focus on, and that makes their conversations awkward.
Regulated deep breaths keep you calm and composed and help you organize your thoughts.
According to Gary Genard, breathing is an essential part of public speaking, where inhalation and exhalation play an important role.
The Genard Method explains how inhalation increases your pulse rate, so you should focus on exhalation that slows it down.
However, your stress hormones will go crazy during a panic, so you must practice deep breathing beforehand.
Spend some time daily on your breathing and practice slow exhalation.
2. Talk slowly and firmly.
Have you ever talked to someone who speaks fast with an unsteady voice?
They seem nervous and out of place, which makes other people uncomfortable.
Compare that with public speakers and movie actors who exhume confidence in their dialogues. You remember what they say, word per word.
That’s because talking slowly with a firm, confident voice leaves a lasting impression on your audience and shows that you’re comfortable even during difficult conversations.
Keep your tone steady, avoid nasal voice, and take your time formulating your thoughts before expressing them clearly.
3. Take strategic pauses.
Taking strategic pauses during your speech has a significant impact when done right, sometimes even more than a strong, confident voice.
Remember that pauses can also harm your conversations when you don’t have practice.
If you take unrhythmic and out-of-place pauses, your audience will consider your ideas distorted and disorganized.
On the other hand, a rightly placed pause will captivate your listeners and intrigue them to listen intently to your next idea.
Experts suggest three major moments to insert pauses in your conversations.
Firstly, take a pause while transitioning from one idea to another.
Doing so will help you compose your next idea better while the audience waits to hear what you’re about to say next.
Secondly, you can take a short pause to pace yourself during your conversation. Lastly, a pause works great when you want to create a dramatic effect.
Make sure only to take two-second pauses; anything longer than that becomes awkward and boring.
4. Improve your speaking tone.
Your tone of voice varies based on how you convey your ideas according to the situation and social setting.
It can be formal or casual, respectful or irreverent, funny or serious, and enthusiastic or plain.
Passive, aggressive, and assertive are also some examples of voice characteristics.
Friendly conversations are full of humor and laughter with friends, while serious discussions require composure.
To improve your vocal tone, practice speaking in front of a mirror or record yourself to hear how your voice falls on your audience.
Adjust your tone to suit the upcoming event to improve your confidence and leave a good impression on the people interacting with you.
5. Develop a confident voice.
What’s common between Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman, and Benedict Cumberbatch?
They all have confident voices that are impossible to resist.
They produce an air of confidence around their voice, which the majority of people love to hear.
If you’d think about it, they are perfect for documentaries and impactful public speaking because they confidently express their opinions.
While you cannot change your natural voice, there are techniques for improving voice pitch with vocal exercises.
You can hire a vocal coach to improve your sound or work with a therapist to perfect your speaking skills.
In addition, you can do some home exercises such as emulating your favorite public speaking voice and using your diaphragm and vocal cords to find the sweet spot.
6. Maintain eye contact.
Eye contact is a prime factor that shows how confident you are, thereby impacting your communication skills.
If you’re not looking at the person you’re speaking to, they will lose focus and get bored in no time.
Maintaining eye contact makes you appear more confident to your listeners.
Experts suggest a 50/70 rule to maintain eye contact—50 percent of the time when speaking and 70 percent of the time when listening.
When talking to a group, for example, at a networking event or a TED Talk, try to switch your eye contact from one person to another.
This way, everyone feels included in your conversation.
7. Don’t force yourself to fill the silence.
While you should learn to speak confidently, you are not obligated to fill the silence with awkward conversations.
People sometimes become anxious when there’s no one speaking and try to fill the void with a comment or a conversation topic that’s irrelevant.
Remember that you’re not responsible for keeping the conversation going, and no one expects you to speak up.
Just stay calm with confident body language, and don’t let your anxiety take charge. Silence is part of the conversation.
8. Develop a confident personality.
A confident personality means you’re relaxed with an appropriate and assertive posture while talking to someone.
You should also be confident in your body and have a graceful demeanor that does not go away under stress.
It would also help to learn how to dress for the occasion so that you don’t feel out of place and can carry yourself with confidence.
Worrying about what others think of you should not change your natural behavior, but that should not mean dressing up or behaving inappropriately.
9. Try yoga for social anxiety.
If you suffer from social anxiety, you will probably notice sweating, a fast heartbeat, and a dry mouth during your conversations.
You can try yoga for anxiety to relax your body and mind, help you organize your thoughts better, and produce a calm, confident voice.
Some yoga exercises will help improve public speaking skills, such as breathing and exuding a mindful posture.
Make sure to keep your hydration levels up to remain calm and avoid dry mouth.
10. Train with Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a proactive method of brain training focusing on our thoughts and their interpretations.
Instead of concentrating on what happens to us in life, it tries to create effective responses.
Social anxiety is a big problem when you’re learning to talk confidently, and that’s where NLP works its magic.
The best part is that you don’t need a therapist to learn NLP techniques and can train your brain yourself for a more confident speaking experience.
Below are some of the best NLP training resources to help you talk confidently and improve your overall well-being:
The NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming will help you develop a confident personality that manifests itself in your social interactions.
As a result, you’d be able to develop a confident voice just like one of the most successful voice coaches, Tony Robbins.
The NLP Master’s Scriptbook is another excellent read to improve your confidence, making your voice stronger before your audience.
Remember that NLP takes a bit of time to work, so be patient and practice daily.
Also, keep working on your voice tone and vocal cords from time to time for charming conversations.
The Neuro-linguistic Programming For Dummies book is a best-selling book for people without prior knowledge of NLP.
It introduces you to NLP techniques to help you develop a confident voice and transforms you from an average person to a confident speaker.
How To Talk Confidently
The key to learning how to talk confidently is using tried-and-tested techniques that other confident speakers swear by.
These techniques are easy to adopt and will benefit you a great deal.
They include regulating breathing, talking slowly but firmly, doing yoga to combat social anxiety, paying attention to body language, and maintaining eye contact.
You can also work on your vocal cords to develop an optimum level of volume, pitch, intonation, and intensity.