Building confidence in your speaking is like building anything else. You need a solid foundation. The best way to create that is by constructing a base of your own speaking strengths.
The Raw Materials
“What strengths?” you may be asking yourself. Everybody has some. If you can talk, you have speaking strengths.
These are the raw materials of your communication. By choosing the best that you have, you can start to build your bedrock of assurance when you’re speaking. Here are a few examples of strengths to look for:
- good sense of humor
- good stories to tell
- soothing voice
- strong voice
- unique point of view
- a “way with words”
- colorful expressions
- good descriptions
- sense of authority on your topic
Where To Find Them
Pay attention to all the different times that you’re talking. These strengths show up in all areas of life. Here are some places to look for them– different talking venues:
- with groups of friends
- on the phone
- with your favorite clients
- in clubs or faith groups
- committee meetings
- out shopping and doing errands
Listen for your strengths and write them down. When somebody says, “Oh, I liked that!”, write it down, or record a voice memo of it on your cell phone. When you get a good laugh, make a note of it. Really listen for positive comments.
Set the intention to be aware of these little “wins” and you’re halfway there. You’ll start noticing them all over the place! Keep a running list in a special place where you can review them.
Record yourself and listen to it later, with your ear bent towards only positive things you hear in your speaking. Note: This is definitely not how we usually listen to ourselves! Stick with the positive only.
You can record yourself with your phone or a handheld voice recorder. Or you can use the microphone on your computer with Sound Recorder – a free software program that comes on all PC’s. I’m sure Macs have an equivalent. Start with recording some of your phone calls.
Now with a positive foundation of strengths, you can look with a more balanced (and realistic) perspective for areas of your speaking where you want to improve. Review your strong points first. Then go back with a gentle ear to listen for ways you can polish your skills. This is a great way to build your speaking confidence.
Bonus: Review your list of strengths before your next speaking occasion to boost your self-assurance and remind yourself of how great you are! You are guaranteed a positive effect on your speaking that day – whether it’s networking, presenting, or just talking with clients.
How do you build your boldness in speaking? We’d love to hear your tips. Leave a comment below.
And if you are ready to break through the challenges holding you back with your speaking, contact me and let’s get started.