Confidently Speak About Yourself With These 4 Tips
In order to stand out, you have to learn how to speak about yourself. And you have to do it with confidence! But sometimes things happen. You get asked a question that you weren’t prepared for. You feel like you are bragging. Or you encounter a language barrier. Any of these things and more can happen, but being prepared and leveling up your communication will go a long way!
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed entrepreneur, Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, and educator, Kim Kaupe.
They shared key tips and personal experiences about learning how to confidently speak about yourself.
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1. Tone + Body Language
During the interview, a viewer asked a question about how to overcome a language barrier and no being able to come up with the right words at the right time. And the important thing to understand is that communication is not just the words that are coming out of your mouth, but it includes your tone and your body language.
In other words, how you say something and what your body language says. In fact, your body language is a bigger influencer on how people perceive your confidence and competency.
Your tone of voice is really the sound of your voice. How you say something can really change your message. If you are struggling to confidently speak about yourself, think about your tone.
A few key things to remember about tone.
- Does your tone of voice match the energy of what you are saying?
- Does your tone match the heaviness or lightness of your message?
- Does your tone of voice change and create ebbs and flows that take your audience on a storytelling journey?
- Does your tone of voice seem authentic to you and your message?
- What do your friends and colleagues think about your overall tone?
Once you have perfected your tone, think about your body language. How do you enter a room? Do you cross your arms when speaking to someone else? Are you making appropriate eye contact? All of these body language signals can help you speak more confidently.
If you struggle to speak confidently about yourself because of a language barrier there are things you can practice to help.
A few strategies to help with a language barrier:
- Speak more slowly
- Have more variety in your tone
- Change up your speed of speech
- Use your hands and shoulders to communicate
- Practice your speech or presentation so the words easily flow
Remember, your tone of voice and body language are more important than the actual words that are coming out of your mouth. If you want to speak more confidently, practice confident body language. When you lead with your body your tone and words will follow!
2. Keep Things Concise
Sometimes knowing how much to say can get murky. You want to share what you’re doing but you also need to recognize that oversharing can make people stop listening.
So how do you know how much to share? Kim gave a great example of thinking about yourself as a movie trailer. If you are at a networking event and someone asks you what you do or what project you’re working on, you want to give them the movie trailer answer. In other words, give them a general idea, and leave them wanting more. They should have an understanding, but hopefully, they’ll want to learn more or be very intrigued. If they want to “watch the whole movie” they will ask follow-up questions or they will do their own research.
So how do you know what to include in your “trailer” when speaking about yourself? Here are few things to consider:
Use Your Emotions – If your trailer doesn’t have an emotional impact, no one will want to hear the whole movie. So use emotions to make what you are talking about more exciting.
Talk about what you’re really excited about – It is really hard to fake excitement. People can tell if you aren’t excited. If you aren’t excited they won’t be either.
Give people talking points for them to follow up with questions – When someone asks you what you are working on, think about how you reply. Are you giving them anything to follow up on? You don’t need to reply with every single data point. But you can say, “I’m working on a project for X company that is really exciting”. This gives them the opportunity to follow up and ask more in-depth about the company and your role within the project.
Remember, if you don’t like talking about yourself keeping things concise is an excellent avenue for you. It also will help you not overshare and lose the attention that you are trying to grab.
3. Share Your Wins
Do you ever feel like sharing a win with someone is bragging? Or maybe you figured out a new way to do something? Sharing your wins, or what is working for you, isn’t bragging at all – it can be very helpful to others!
Think about what comes easy to you. That same task may be extremely difficult for someone else. So when you share your experiences you are helping someone else learn and grow.
Instead of thinking about how this is you showing off, think of it as you serving another person. You are giving them your knowledge in the hopes that it will help them achieve the same success you are experiencing.
Sharing your wins, or what’s working for you, can help you change your mindset. When you change your mindset on talking about yourself to serving other people it will become so much easier to do. And the truth is, it actually is helpful to hear.
4. The Down Point Movement
There will come a point where you are caught off guard. A question is asked that you do know the answer to, but can’t think of it on the spot. Or maybe you don’t know the answer at all.
During the LinkedIn Live interview, Jessica gave her Down Point Movement tip on what to do if you ever feel yourself freeze when talking to someone.
The Down Point Movement
First, you look down. Shake your head so it gives the perception that you are thinking of a response. This gives you the chance to collect any emotions or butterflies you may have. This also allows you to calm yourself.
Then look up, and say your pointed statement right away. You can say – that’s a really great question, in fact, I was thinking of xyz. Or that’s a great question let me do some research. Or that’s a great question and begin to rehash what you’ve just spoken and what you know rather than something that you aren’t as sure about.
Compliment the other person immediately. That’s a really great question I want to make sure that I give you an exact specific answer to that. I can’t provide it right now, so let me follow back up via e-mail when I can give you a more exact answer. This lets the person know that they did ask a good question because you are validating them. And 2 shows them that you care enough to do follow-up and give them a really great answer.
Learning to confidently speak about yourself is key to career success. Becoming more comfortable with sharing your ideas, your projects, and your wins will help you gain the attention at work you so deserve.
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Kim’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
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