How to speak confidently to get results

The key to being confident when you speak is to be assumptive and not passive.  Passive is less committal and often comes across like you are bothering someone. When you assume you will get what you want you will ask more confidently and confidence is key.  The following table shows some example of passive speak versus assumptive speak. If you are in a sales position or just want to get things done, use the assumption speak:

Is this a good time? The reason I am calling is
I was wondering if…Tell me who what, where or when
I have the whole day openI am super busy bringing on new clients but I do have a slot available at 2 pm
What do you think?Why don’t we go ahead and set that up.
What’s the best time for you?  I will be visiting a client in your area on Tuesday, I can pick you up for lunch.
I kinda sort of was wondering if you would have some time to answer a few questions if that would be okay. A lot of my customers are telling me that they are having an issue with _______, what are your biggest challenges you are facing right now?
Would this be a good time for you?How about we meet at 2 pm
I am NAME from COMPANY and I was hoping I could take a few minutes of your time to talk to you about…We have been working companies like yours and getting them a lot of success and I wanted to get to know your business because I want to see if we can help you too.
Email sentence structure is the body language of the written word.  When you send passive words and statements it sends the message that you lack confidence.  You must be careful in emails. There are some subtle differences is passive versus active speech that has a tremendous impact to the listener. Using active voice makes your meaning clear and avoids extra words that can obfuscate your message. Technically, active voice means that a sentence has a subject that acts upon its verb. Passive voice means that a subject is a recipient of a verb's action. Passive voice sounds a little deceptive and dishonest at times, especially in a business situation. For example, if you call customer support they may say passively "There seems to be an error on your account. We will be making every attempt to correct it." In the first sentence, they are trying to deny that it is their fault or that an error actually occurred. In the second sentence they will attempt to correct it, is not encouraging. If they spoke in the active voice they would say "I see we made an error in your account. We will correct that immediately." Whether they do or do not correct it, stating it in an active voice at least has me convinced that they will. Which would you rather hear?

Voice tone, inflection and body language are important confidence factors too.  Consider following table to see the differences:

Speaking with a high pitched tone of voiceSpeaking with normal inflection and a deeper pitch
Speaking very fast (conveys untrustworthiness)Speaking at a relaxed pace with appropriate pauses
Tense or defensive tone of voiceFriendly tone with a smile in your voice
Speaking really loud or softAppropriate voice modulation with the emphasis on the right words and phrases
Frail or nervous tone of voice with filler words like “um’s” and “ah’s” and awkward pausesDirect properly placed tone and speech that gets right to the point
Lack of eye contact or looking away (nothing says I cannot be trusted by lack of eye contact) Direct eye contact
Hands in your pocketsHands by your sides or out in front of you as you speak (in a powerful position)
Wild gesticulations or hand motionsUsing hand gestures in a calm and controlled manner
Touching your face or putting your fingers in your mouthHands in a power position at your side or out in front of you in a controlled non-threatening manner
Hunched over, arms crossed, head downStraight posture, head up, shoulders straight and back (this posture will actually make you feel more confident)
Shifting back and forth on your feet or rocking your bodyStanding still in a natural power pose.
Stiff posture and body tenseRelaxed natural posture
Jaw clenched, tense look on your faceA relaxed smile. Smile is universal language conveying confidence and trust
Weak, sweaty palm hand shakeFirm confident handshake delivered while making direct eye contact
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