8 Ways to Sound Confident in the Workplace

Sometimes, how you sound matters more than what you say. If you don’t sound sure of yourself, people will not recognize you as a confident leader. Whether you’re already in a leadership position or are hoping to procure one, reviewing the following eight tips will help increase your credibility by addressing how you sound.

Adapt the following tactics to sound confident in the workplace:

1. Avoid over-explaining.
When presenting an idea, remember that simple is better. Using more words than necessary softens what you say and prevents your statements from making their full impact. To practice being succinct, follow up your points with no more than two to three pieces of supporting information and remember that you do not need to fill silence.

2. Bring energy your communications.
If you’ve ever witnessed a low-energy speaker, you know that displaying genuine enthusiasm can make or break a presentation. Taking on a positive mindset will help inject your presentations with energy. Before meetings or important engagements, consciously consider the tone you want to set and let your agenda determine your energy. When you lead with energy, you complement your message.

3. Know the language of your industry.
Every industry has jargon that sounds incomprehensible to those outside of it. If you struggle to communicate in your industry’s lingo, people will not view you as confident in the workplace. Understanding a company’s strategic goals and being able to speak to how your skills can help achieve them is important when it comes to moving up in an organization. To gain more insight into your company and its industry, subscribe to industry publications and research best practices.

4. Don’t ask permission.
Asking for permission – especially when you already have approval – can put you in a powerless position. Practice being direct and confident whenever you approach a coworker or your supervisor with a request. Next time you have the opportunity to pursue a new project related to your role, inform your supervisor about your intention to pursue the project, rather than asking if you can be a part of it.

5. Avoid apologizing excessively.
Apologizing when it’s not necessary can make you look less capable and competent than you are. Becoming conscious of how often you apologize is the first step in changing the behavior. Keep track of how often you’re tempted to respond with, “Sorry,” and instead respond in one of these five ways instead.

6. Accept praise.
When someone congratulates you on a job well done, don’t minimize your accomplishments. You can be proud of an achievement without coming off as egocentric. In these situations, the best response is a simple thanks.

7. Slow down your speech.
Many people determine credibility through a simple glance, but how you sound will either help or hinder their assessment of you. When you rush through your conversation – because you’re nervous, in a hurry, or have a habit of doing so – you risk positioning yourself as uncertain. To identify if you talk too fast, ask trusted coworkers for feedback then practice controlling the tempo of your voice.

8. Reflect before responding.
Fear of being viewed as unknowledgeable can rush you into a quick response in a meeting or other professional setting. But, when you pause before answering, you actually gain composure and are more likely to be viewed as thoughtful. Practice pausing by counting to two before providing an answer and focusing on the main point you want to convey.

What do you focus on when you’re trying to sound confident in the workplace? Let us know by sending us a tweet.

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Emily Knippa

Emily Knippa is a St. Louis-based marketer and writer who focuses on content marketing, career development, and personal finance. She enjoys meeting people pursuing inspiring career paths. She’d love to meet you at the next United Way event. Say hello to Emily on Twitter at @emilyknippa.