How to Speak With Conviction
Do you want to know how to speak with conviction?
You are not alone in that aspiration. Every public speaker wants their listener to hang on every one of their words.
That is because the way you present your points in a speech determines how listeners conceive your message. Not only that, but it also predetermines what they do with your message.
Arguments presented with authority and conviction have higher chances of gaining a place of grace in the heart of the listeners.
What Do You Need to Speak With Conviction
The key to your success at speaking with authority lies in the tone you adopt, your choice of words, and the body language that accompanies every one of your utterances.
Also crucial to your success in this regard is how much confidence you radiate.
However, it is not all about taking certain actions alone. There are also attitudes and practices you must avoid if you want to speak with conviction. First, let’s see the dos and don’ts.
1. Adopt a Forceful and Assertive Tone
A tone is a powerful tool you can only underuse or disuse to your detriment. You must use a tone that lends credence to what you are saying.
This goes beyond just the pitch of your voice. It includes your carriage and other speech delivery techniques employed.
Peppering your speech with apt touches of humor works like wonder, no matter how ‘serious’ the topic.
What matters most is the ‘torque’ you can wax behind your verbal dexterity. It would be best if you sounded firm, sure, authoritative, and businesslike. Nobody takes you seriously if you don’t present yourself accordingly.
The volume of your voice, its pace, and your overall manner define your tone. Arguably, the tone is the most crucial of all that you need to speak with conviction. It’s a potent weapon that can rouse or douse the enthusiasm of your audience and receptiveness.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully
Inner conviction comes from well-rooted knowledge. It is something you genuinely feel, so its conveyance requires choosing the best available lexis.
While weaving strings of intricate expressions is beneficial, making these expressions sincere and authentic is much more helpful.
You must use active words that are devoid of any element of uncertainty. Words such as ‘seem,’ ‘probably,’ ‘likely,’ and ‘possibly’ will water down any iota of conviction that may be present in your speech.
Instead of these words, use words like ‘certainly,’ ‘definitely,’ ‘undoubtedly,’ etc. Your audience will connect more readily with these forceful words, and the conviction in them can quickly sink to the bottom of their heart.
The question-and-answer method is an excellent example of how you can use words to your advantage.
Asking a ‘what’ question and following it with an emphatic answer works like magic. It keeps your audience entranced all through the speech.
3. Speak With Confidence
The audience never misses the level of confidence a speaker exudes. In fact, most of the time, they are not conscious of what they are doing. Yet, this assessment of your confidence influences how they perceive what you are saying.
So, what will help you to speak with confidence?
First, you need a deep knowledge of the subject matter. The best you can do here is to conduct thorough research into the subject matter.
Don’t stand before an audience if you are not a master of the subject matter you want to discuss. To speak with conviction, you must speak with authority. Meanwhile, you can speak with authority without knowledge.
Second, you must polish up your mastery of the language. Research has shown that you speak with more confidence and conviction when your language proficiency is high.
Even though you may know what you want to say, if you fail to encode it in soothing yet persuasively forceful language, your argument will still fall flat.
Also, you must meet your audience eye to eye. If you cannot maintain eye contact with the audience, forget about exuding confidence.
4. Use Lots of Nonverbal Communication Techniques
Your messages are better reinforced when you accompany verbal communication with nonverbal language elements.
Gestures, from facial expressions to body movements, can tell your audience much about your feelings. And that can be pretty contagious when you use it to your advantage.
When you use facial expressions and gesticulations effectively, most of the audience falls into line behind you. You can see heads nodding in agreement with what you are saying.
Why? That’s because there is already an unspoken agreement that has created an invisible bond between you and them.
Your appearance also matters here. What you wear and how you wear them play a significant role. Thus, you must choose your clothes with a great sense of decency. Dress as casual as the occasion and as formal as the occasion.
In addition, come what may, you should not be fidgeting with anything. Fidgeting is a mood killer; it can easily take the shine out of your speech.
Likewise, it is imperative that you use your space to effect. How you move around or how you interact with your immediate environment goes a long way in determining your effectiveness.
5. Be a Master of Your Emotions
Emotions can erupt and hijack your control over your actions and utterances. These emotions can be positive or negative.
While positive emotions can help you drive home your point with conviction, negative ones can spell doom for your speech. Therefore, you must be in total control of your emotions. You only let out the feelings you need.
For instance, excitement can be instrumental in your effort to speak with authority. When the audience feels your excitement about what you are discussing, many of them spontaneously catch the feeling.
Besides, positive emotions like love and hope help project your confidence and conviction to the audience.
Getting angry or becoming afraid on the podium ruins your chances of being successful as a speaker.
6. You Must Be Direct and Diplomatic
This may sound self-contradictory, but it is not. Of course, there is no way you can speak with conviction without being direct.
However, being too direct might be found offensive by some audience members. This, by no means, does not mean you can satisfy everyone in the audience.
Your focus should be to convince as many people as you can. Therefore, you would not want to offend anyone by being abrasive in the name of being direct. Though you will speak straightforwardly, you will solicit their support. This is called diplomacy.
You may speak glowingly about the audience – for example, acknowledging their professional expertise. You can also mention their achievements or any other attribute that qualify them to be in the audience.
Conclusion: How to Speak with Conviction
We’ve rounded up the best tips there are about speaking with conviction and assertiveness. You can only get to speak with conviction when you’ve mastered the art of public speaking.
On the other hand, your knowledge of the subject matter is the primary tool you need to speak with authority. When you possess these two skills, you become a superstar public speaker.