Your voice and speaking style plays a significant role in how others perceive you. Whether you’re speaking in public, presenting to clients, or even chatting with friends, speaking with confidence can make a huge difference in how you come across.
There are many ways to work on your voice and speaking style to become more confident and engaging. It is absolutely a practice and with some new knowledge and conscious efforts, you can make leaps and bounds in progress.
Here are seven tips for improving your voice and speaking style:
Like any other skill, the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become. One way to practice is to speak in front of a mirror, which allows you to see your body language and facial expressions while you speak. Another way is to record yourself and listen back to hear how you sound. You can also find a friend or family member to practice with and get constructive feedback.
Work on Your Posture
Your posture affects how you breathe and project your voice. Standing up straight with your shoulders back and head held high can help you breathe more deeply and speak more clearly.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Speaking too quickly or slurring your words can make you sound nervous or uncertain. Take your time and enunciate each word clearly. This not only helps others understand you better, but it also gives you time to gather your thoughts and speak more confidently.
We love the practice tips set out in this blog post by London Speech Workshop.
Varying the tone and pitch of your voice can make your speaking more interesting and engaging. You can practice this by reading aloud and experimenting with different inflections. Use a higher pitch when asking a question, for example, or emphasize certain words to convey meaning.
Speak from Your Diaphragm
Using your diaphragm to support your voice can help you project your voice more clearly and powerfully. To practice this, take deep breaths and speak from your belly rather than your throat. This will give your voice more depth and volume.
In fact, your diaphragm plays a very important role in your overall feeling and perception of confidence. Learn more about why “the diaphragm is the key to your confidence” in this TEDx talk by Caroline Goyder:
Eliminate Filler Words
Filler words such as “um,” “ah,” and “like” can make you sound unsure of yourself. Try to eliminate these from your speech by taking a brief pause instead. This gives you time to gather your thoughts and respond more confidently.
Listen to Yourself
Paying attention to how you sound when you speak is an important part of improving your voice and speaking style. Recording yourself and listening back can help you hear areas where you can improve. It can also help you track your progress over time.
Get a mentor
Working with a mentor can be a great way to improve your voice and speaking style, as they can provide you with personalized feedback and guidance. If you’re looking to improve your communication skills or are passionate about supporting other women in this area, join OneUpOneDown! Communication is a common area where women seek support, and our community provides a safe and supportive space for women to connect and learn from each other.
Improving your voice and speaking style takes time and practice, but it’s well worth the effort. With these tips, you can become a more confident and engaging speaker, no matter the situation. So, take the time to practice, listen to yourself, and experiment with different techniques. You might be surprised by how much you can improve!