What does it mean to express yourself clearly and confidently? It means that you can effectively get people to understand what you’re thinking and feeling. You communicate…that is, you get the ideas and feelings out of your head and heart and into theirs.
People may not always agree with you, but they know exactly what your thoughts or emotions are because you can translate those things into words, gestures, and a voice that is so clear and obvious they cannot misunderstand.
The following information will give you proven strategies for expressing yourself more clearly, and more confidently to other people. What you learn here is a small part of the lessons presented in the free guide and video series, Talk More Confidently, so be sure to sign up to get those free resources and learn even more.
How Expressing Yourself More Confidently Improves Your Life
When you learn how to express your ideas and emotions more clearly, it benefits every area of your life.
Communicating more clearly and confidently will accelerate your career. You’ll be more persuasive. Coworkers, supervisors, and customers will want to listen to you more because they value what you say. You’ll be seen as a leader because leaders, more than anything, are those people who communicate well.
You attract more people and experience better relationships when you learn to express yourself better. People will find you more interesting to listen to and want to spend more time with you. Your spouse or partner will understand you better and it will lead to fewer arguments and more rewarding conversations.
So, use the following tips and strategies to start enjoying all these professional and social benefits of clear, confident communication…
Start Expressing Yourself Better on Paper
You can learn to communicate your thoughts better to other people by practicing writing out what you will say beforehand. Writing what you want to say down helps you see it more clearly, and gives you an opportunity to revise your message before you actually say it. Imagine conversations and interactions before they happen, and determine what you’re going to say.
Keep in mind though, that you don’t want to memorize what you’ve written down and just restate it to people. You will sound like you’re reading a script, and it will feel unnatural to you and them both. Just write out your thoughts as a way to think through what you want to say, then just speak naturally when you actually talk to those people.
Writing out what you want to say before you talk to people shows respect for their time and attention. You don’t waste their time trying to think through what to say. With each additional conversation, people will listen to you more when they know that what you say is thought-out and meaningful.
Communicate More Assertively with Friends and Family
Many times, learning to talk more clearly and confidently also means learning to speak more assertively. Speaking assertively includes being straightforward about what you need or expect from someone else. You don’t let your fears dilute the message you feel needs to be communicated.
You can learn to speak more assertively by trying it out on friends and family members (assuming you trust friends and family members, that is). Tell them you are trying to express yourself more confidently, and you want to learn to be more assertive. That way, they’re less likely to be shocked or offended when you start saying what you really think and feel.
As you feel more confident and assertive with people you trust, it will become easier to talk that way to other people who you may not know as well.
Another thing about learning to speak more assertively: it doesn’t mean you try to be critical or hurtful. Rather, be honest, but learn to do it is a way that is aligned with what you think and feel while it is also respectful of someone else’s thoughts and feelings.
You’ll find that expressing yourself more clearly and confidently comes more easily as you try to be more honest with other people.
Slow Down When You Speak
If you’re nervous when you talk to people, it can often cause you to speak too quickly. Speaking too quickly makes it more likely you will slur words or omit them entirely. People won’t understand you as well and will pay less attention.
When you slow down, it helps you think more carefully about the words you use, and people understand you better. In addition, speaking slower and more deliberately can also have a calming effect on you.
It’s generally good to shoot for speaking at a rate of about 150-175 words per minute. Faster than that make communication difficult, and slower than that will make your communication boring.
Try recording yourself speaking at a normal pace, then count the number of words you use in a 60-second sample of that recording. Learn to slow your speaking down (or, speed it up) as necessary, to ensure people comprehend what you say.
Avoid Big Words, Acronyms, and Ambiguous Phrases
Too often, some people use big words or complex phrases in an attempt to sound more confident or knowledgeable than they really are. In some cases, they use a word in the wrong context and it only makes them look foolish.
So, to sound more confident and be clear when you communicate, only use those words you feel comfortable using in a normal conversation. Of course, there are some words you may be comfortable using in normal conversation that you should not use in professional settings. Be careful about using words that may also be offensive to some people.
Don’t use acronyms and jargon people you’re speaking with may not understand. It makes them uncomfortable and it makes your communication confusing.
Avoid using “business-speak,” which are words that are more complicated than they need to be. Again, people use these terms and phrases to try to sound more professional, but it only complicates their messages and makes them look either arrogant or insecure.
To Talk More Confidently and Clearly, Talk Less
Talking less actually does a few things to make your communication more confident and clear.
First, it forces you to really think through what you want to say and refine it into clearer statements. Secondly, it allows the people you talk with to focus on the real essence of your message. They don’t get confused with too much unnecessary information.
Understand that when you talk less, people understand and remember more when you do actually speak.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
Another great strategy to communicate more confidently and clearly is to pause occasionally and ask questions that gauge whether the person is understanding what you say. But be careful not to use questions that seem like you are testing them and their listening skills.
Don’t ask things like: “Do you understand me?” Or, “Can you tell me what I just said?”
Instead, ask questions that will tell you if they understood what you meant without being condescending like, “What do you think about that?” Or, “If you were in my situation, what would you do?”
When you ask follow-up questions like those, it will give you an idea if your communicating clearly, when you need to express something differently, and whether or not your communication is engaging or not (that is, if they are even really listening to you).
Much of what we’ve discussed so far relates to simply communicating in a way that is natural to you. Drop the pretenses when you talk to people. You will feel more comfortable, and when you feel more comfortable talking, you will talk more confidently. When you talk more confidently, your communication will be clearer and easier to understand.
Don’t try to fake body language, facial expressions, or your tone of voice to sound more confident. These attempts always backfire and people see them as being fake.
Get the Talk More Confidently Guide and Videos
One final tip for learning to speak more confidently and clearly is to be sure to sign up to receive the free guide and instructional videos, Talk More Confidently. These free resources will give even more strategies for learning to talk confidently in many types of situations.
Summary: Express Yourself Clearly & Confidently
Remember these important points…remember to apply these in your daily conversations to express yourself more confidently and clearly:
- Expressing yourself more clearly and confidently will benefit every aspect of your professional and social life.
- Practice writing down what you want to say to people before you talk to them.
- Try being more assertive with people you trust before you try talking that way with others.
- Talk slower when you speak to people so they understand what you’re saying.
- Avoid using words and phrases that you wouldn’t use normally.
- Don’t talk so much that people ignore or forget what you say. Reserve your speaking for times when you have something really interesting or important to say.
- Pause when you’re talking and ask questions that will indicate whether someone really understands you or not.
- Be yourself. Your communication will be more clear and confident when you use a voice, words, and body language that come naturally to you.
- Don’t miss the free guide and video series, Talk More Confidently.