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Five Principles of Confident Communication

Five principles of confident communication

How to be a confident leader

Confident leaders are the product of confident communicators.

If you lack confidence as a communicator, this will have a negative effect on many aspects of your life, both professionally and privately.

How can I gain confidence as a communicator?

The key point in gaining confidence is this - Confidence comes from competence!

Confidence comes from knowing what you are doing. If you do not know what you are doing, then how can you feel confident? If you know exactly what you are doing, then you will feel more confident. Therefore follow these points:

1. Assert your opinion based solely on knowledge

Confidence in communication must be based on knowledge.

Do not talk about things you do not know about. Do not be afraid to say, "I don't know enough about that to form a valid opinion"

Talk about things that you know. Do not guess or fabricate.

Draw on your own experience and knowledge and be firm when you think you have sufficient evidence to justify your view.

2. Use language that is as clear, specific, and precise

The purpose of communication is to accurately transfer information, ideas and emotions from one mind to another.

The more accurately that is done, the better the communication. Therefore, it is important to use accurate, specific and precise language, rather than allow yourself the use of inaccurate, unspecific, or imprecise language.

Remember: Clarity is a virtue; vagueness is a vice.

Therefore, to be more confident, strive to use language that is as clear, specific and precise as you can make it.

3. Reinforce your message with good body language.

To a degree you communicate your level of confidence, with how you look.

It is your appearance, your mannerisms and body posture that indicates to others your emotional state. You tell people how you feel with your words, you show them how you feel with your body language.

Just as you can control your language, you can control, if you choose to, your body language.

Tips on body language that will help you to project an air of confidence:

  • Stand or sit up straight, do not slouch.
  • Look people in the eye, do not evade eye contact.
  • Dress according to the context. Do not let your appearance label you as a loser.
  • Use hand and gestures to give visual reinforcement to your spoken message. Animate yourself.
  • Never point at anyone. Hand gestures should be open handed, palms down, below the eye line, when used to emphasise key points.

4. Reinforce your message with good voice tone.

You also communicate your levels of confidence, not through what you say, but how you say it, in terms of your voice tone. It is your voice pitch, voice volume, voice intonation and rhythm, that indicates to others your emotional state.

You tell people how you feel with words. You show them how you feel with your voice tones.

Tips on voice tone that will help you to project an air of confidence:

  • Slow down your pace of delivery: do not rush your points
  • Use the lower deeper part of your voice tones
  • Vary your voice tones, do not be monotone.

Do not feel that you must fill every moment with speech. Do not be afraid of silence. Silence allows people time to mentally digest what they have already heard.

5. Give yourself mental encouragement.

Everyone talks to themselves. In your head you have a continuous flow of thoughts, an inner voice. Some people use that inner voice to give themselves courage and confidence.

Others use that inner voice to decimate their courage and devastate their confidence.

  • Some people say to themselves, a thousand times a day: "I am not good enough"
  • Other people say to themselves, "I know I can't do it. So why even try?"

Do not make the mistake of destroying your own confidence with negative self-talk. Use your inner voice to build your confidence.

Confidence is an emotion - All emotions are the product of thought.

If you think you are not good enough, then you cannot feel confident. If you think you are more than good enough, then you will feel confident!
So, work on your self-talk skills!

The five principles of confident communication

To summarise, the principles of confident communication are, in order of importance:

  1. Give yourself mental encouragement.
  2. Assert your opinion based on knowledge.
  3. Use language that is as clear, specific and precise as possible.
  4. Reinforce your message with good body language.
  5. Reinforce your message with good voice tones.

How to gain more confidence as a manager

All managers need self-confidence to be effective and gain the respect of their team. Managers can create more self-confidence by:

1. Thinking positively

Confidence is an emotion that is based on positive thinking. Keep your mind trained on answering the following three questions, over and over in a never-ending loop.

  • What is my goal?
  • What is the plan that will best achieve the goal?
  • What is the very next thing to do?

Keep your mind off your fears, and put it onto thinking about your goals, your plans and your actions.

2. Speak to others in positive terms

If you tell other people that you lack confidence in yourself, then you will cause them to lose confidence in you too. Instead focus your conversation onto the same list of three questions and the answers to them.

  • Talk about the goal.
  • Talk about the plan.
  • Talk about the next action to be taken.

And if you want to talk about how you feel, tell others that you feel confident that the future will work out well. Whether you believe it or not, tell the team "I am confident that if we focus on the goal, formulate good plans, and take the right actions, then we can, and we will, achieve our goal, on time!"

Learn to speak in positive terms about your prospects for the future, and you will feel confident.

Confidence comes from confident thought and speech and actions.

3. Plan ahead more

A lack of confidence is often a symptom that you do not know what you are doing.

If you know what and how you intend to do something, then you would have more confidence.

Plans build confidence. A lack of a plan is the cause of a lack of confidence.

You need to be known for three things:

  • Be known as a person who is goal focused.
  • Be known as a person who is well prepared with a detailed plan of action.
  • Be known as a person who acts on plans.

Do this and you will always have more confidence.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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