Why do people accept another person as their boss? We all know an employment contract does not necessarily establish someone as a boss. We grant the boss this leadership status based on one’s authority and leadership skills. Certain personal characteristics enable this leadership status, and great communication skills are an important part of them.
I, therefore, address speech in this blog. How can you talk like a boss? How can you come across as a reliable, confident, trustworthy, strong, and intelligent person? I have 8 tips for you, so you can motivate and inspire the masses.
1. Stop using verbal and nonverbal fillers
During pauses, while delivering a speech or presentation, do not use unintelligible sub-vocalizations, such as “um,” “er,” “you know,” “like,” “frankly” or “to be honest” to fill the silence. It just makes the silence awkward. The same goes for a subconscious habitual cough, lip-licking or overused hand gesture. Verbal and nonverbal fillers can be distracting and they ultimately undermine your credibility.
Would you like an example? During the US presidential elections of 2016, the Internet is having a blast with the amount of sniffing Trump does, even suggesting he is on drugs.
Tor Constantino says that the quickest cure for this is to record yourself speaking freely for a minute or two on any topic. You can use your smartphone for this. It is good to record your voice, but recording a video is even better as you can see the nonverbal fillers as well. Then, listen back (or view the video) and count how many of these fillers you use. Write them down. This simple exercise will help you be more conscious when you speak.
2. Keep going despite verbal errors
While delivering a presentation or speech, do not stop and apologize if you make a mistake in your sentence or stumble over words. Act as if nothing happened and keep going. Most people do not even notice those types of verbal errors. The speaker must therefore not draw unnecessary attention to it by stopping and apologizing. You confuse the audience as well as yourself. Just make sure the message is clear.
3. Avoid introductory qualifiers
Constantino also warns us about “wishy-washy throwaway phrases” that we work into our speech to be polite or build consensus. Examples include “perhaps,” “kind of,” “hopefully” or any other derivative of the same. According to Constantino, such limp words will only weaken you and your status as a leader.
4. End sentences cleanly
Stop when you have delivered your message. Be clear and concise. Do not keep going to the point where you talk yourself into a corner and do not know how to end the conversation. It leaves you adding throwaway phrases that contribute nothing to the discussion. Examples include “and what not,” “things like that,” and “you know what I am saying.”
5. Only put one thought in a sentence
Constantino claims that putting only one thought in a sentence helps eliminate most of the abovementioned issues. When we isolate one concept per sentence, verbal pauses between sentences can become powerful attention grabbers. The risk of making verbal errors is lower too if each sentence is a single, crisp idea. In addition, a punchy concept blasts through trivial qualifiers and throwaway phrases.
6. Be a slow talker
As mentioned above, verbal pauses at the end of a sentence (not filled up by useless words!) can make us sound more authoritative. According to Rob Nance, people will lean in to listen to what comes next. Pausing makes you seem confident; using fillers make you seem nervous. If someone cuts you off during the break, smile warmly and (in a nonconfrontational way) say, “Actually, I was not finished.” Then resume.
7. Speak loud and proud
Nance urges you to stand up straight: it opens your vocal tract so that you can speak from your diaphragm. This way, you create a stronger voice as well as a commanding presence. You do not want people to lean in to hear what you say because they cannot understand you. You want people to lean in to hear what you say because they are intrigued. Do not be obnoxiously loud either; aim for the right volume (and confidence).
8. Play with pitch
This tip has to do with the previous tip. Make sure you vary with your pitch. If you have a loud personality, lower your voice to drive home a message. If you are quiet, enunciate and speak up. Also, do not use a monotone voice (it will bore people), but make sure you are not going in pitch overdrive either (you do not want to sound like Dory).
Having read these tips, it may be a good idea to tape yourself talking. If you are giving a presentation, it may be a good idea to set up a camera for training purposes. You might find it hard to look at yourself in such a way, but it is a great technique to see if you are really doing the things that you think you are doing and to discover distracting mannerisms. Good luck talking like a boss!
Read More: The Global Costs of Living Like a Boss