Speaking to a group of people in the workplace can be challenging. In front of superiors and co-workers, what an individual says and does matters.
Whether doing a presentation or sharing an idea during a brainstorming session, there are ways to project a smart and confident image, even if one is nervous.
1. Don’t speak up unless you have something valuable to add
If you have only a basic knowledge of the topic, wading into a discussion on the intricacies of a subject would expose that lack of knowledge.
In these situations, either keep quiet or try to divert the conversation towards more familiar ground where you can speak easily and knowledgeably.
2. Don’t be afraid to remain silent
Most people in the workplace try to not stop talking, especially during a presentation. They view it as a signal of a mistake or uncertainty.
Conversely, pausing places emphasis and adds thoughtfulness to the speech. Silence can also be a way to grab an inattentive audience’s attention and draw them back in.
3. Avoid ‘vocal fry’ and other vocal irritants
Annoying and distracting vocal habits can negatively affect how speakers are perceived.
The most common offenders are “uptalk” – a rising intonation that pronounces statements as if they are questions and “vocal fry” – ending sentences in a raspy growl.
These vocal habits convey insecurity, negativity and dimness.
4. Pay close attention to one’s voice
Think about the voices that are engaging, the vocal frequencies and the speaker’s ability, ease and familiarity with the subtleties of their voice.
By listening very carefully to your own voice, you can refine it into an electrifying force.
5. Speak loudly, don’t shout
Projecting your voice takes practice, but being able to speak with full confidence so everyone in the far reaches of the room can hear it is a great asset in sounding intelligent and knowledgeable.
Avoid shouting, it puts listeners on edge and can affect the voice.
6. Avoid using mindless language
Using clichés, buzzwords or “intelligent” terms without a proper sense of their meaning conveys a lack of originality and can lose the attention of listeners.
7. Improve one’s posture
A discussion is more than just the words coming out of one’s mouth. Standing or sitting up straight with a relaxed spine displays self-assurance and places one in a comfortable, confident mental and physical state while speaking.
This article first appeared in jobstore.com
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