We reveal ourselves every time we open our mouths to speak.
It can be an accent that tells people “we are not from here”; lack of technical knowledge; rigid tone; different language or brilliant rhetoric that impresses and provides good information.
When I arrived in TN ten years ago to open my second office, it was apparent to everyone I met that I was not “from” TN. I had spent many years in the New England area and was pronounced a Northerner every time I spoke.
The changes in the technology in our lives easily keeps us either confused about the latest and greatest or scampering to learn how to talk technical. Case in point…my technical person works mostly remotely with me – it is wonderfully convenient and immediate when I need help. She will text me instructions and I sometimes just do not know what she is saying. You can call it jargon or techie talk, but it is not understandable to me until she explains.
How clear are you being when you speak?
Tired, anxious and lack of confidence affects our tone of speaking as much as language. We immediately know when someone is angry or not happy by the “tone” they use when they speak. Just remember your mom yelling your name, including your middle name, and you knew you were in deep trouble for something. Everyone has heard that tone before.
Communication characteristics like tone and irritation and word phrases with certain accents are usually highly noticeable. However, there are many communication patterns of language that can mark you as hesitant and not as competent/confident as you would like to be heard.
Here are some samples:
- You know what I mean
- Sort of
- Kind of
Beginning each sentence with “like” and peppering it in the conversation is tiresome. It indicates a below average using your language skills well.
When presenting or providing information, your opening sentence starting with “sort of” or “kind of” destroys the respectability of the information. Ending each sentence with “you know what I mean” is also tiresome. It actually turns off people listening to you. They just stop listening. You know they do because you had done that yourself to others.
When asked a question about your information, answering with a “maybe” stops confidence in you as a resource. Maybe is not strong and does not indicate you know your topic.
“Fabulous” as a comment is not strong. Answering “absolutely” too often indicates to easily agreeing and puts your information/communication in the place of not being relevant or trusted.
My suggestion is that you listen to your next conversation and see if you are communicating in a way that does not provide confidence, competence, agreement and admiration of your information.
If I could eliminate only one communication mannerism, it would be “like”. Like, you know?
Our language skills speak volumes about our talents and competence. We also have so many wonderful words that we can use. Use them. They feel really good sliding out of your mouth and on the end of your pen (keyboard).
You deserve to communicate well.
We can help.
To your success,
P.S. Want immediate help with your confident communication…every time! My CONFIDENT series is just for you starting with “Confident Business Communication Etiquette“. It contains all the tips, techniques and strategies you need right now to communicate easily and effectively, faster than you ever thought possible. Click here.