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As the world around us becomes increasingly digital and technology-driven, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the constant stream of advancements, change and new ideas.
Just a decade or two ago, technological advancements were measured in months and years. Did you know an entire year passed between the release of the first iPhone and the iPhone 3G? And it was two years before the App Store was released!
Today, advancements in technology and AI are measured in weeks, days and hours. Companies pivot, expand, acquire and relaunch by the week. Change is everywhere, and some teams are growing tired of it.
That profound shift can make business leaders leery of sharing their new and innovative ideas with their employees, their industry and the world. You may worry, “Is my idea actually sound?”, “Why should anyone listen to what I have to say?”, or “Am I qualified to lead in this sphere?”.
The more you overthink your communication habits, the more anxious and indecisive you may become. And before you know it, you’re sharing ideas with hesitation, not confidence.
Instead of communicating your new ideas with uncertainty, here are four tips you can use to communicate confidently — and persuade your audience in the process.
Confident communication tip 1: Do your research
When it comes to communicating new ideas, the more research you can do, the better. Take time to understand the products, services, key players and popular ideas in your industry. Listen to the conversations and opinions of thought leaders. And read the go-to books you see referenced again and again.
Not only will this extensive research help you solidify your idea — you’ll be prepared to speak to any questions your audience raises. And because people like to partner with other knowledgeable people, the confidence you’ll carry into your next presentation will be contagious!
Confident communication tip 2: Find common ground
The second key strategy for speaking confidently about new ideas is to find common ground with your audience. The most powerful technique you can use to connect with your audience and communicate your ideas with confidence is to find a way to relate to the listeners. This tip is particularly important if you’re speaking to colleagues who may already have their own thoughts and opinions about your idea.
By finding common ground, such as shared goals or challenges, and relating with your listeners, you’ll be able to frame your new ideas in a way that’s relevant and meaningful to everyone in the room. This can go a long way towards building your credibility and establishing trust — both of which make it easier to gain buy-in. As your audience leans in and listens, it’s easy to feel their enthusiasm and communicate with confidence as a result.
Confident communication tip 3: Speak clearly and concisely
Have you ever listened to a speaker who stumbled over their words and used so many vocal fillers that you struggled to pay attention to what they wanted to communicate? In natural communication, filler words typically make up about 3-5% of the words we say, and we naturally use around five filler words per minute of spontaneous speech.
But in a bad speech, or a particularly nervous presentation, that number can skyrocket!
To communicate your pitch with confidence, focus on using as few filler words as possible. Speak slowly and enunciate every word. If you lose your train of thought, simply pause for a moment, rather than resorting to a string of umms and errs.
A second way to improve the clarity of your communication is to use simple, jargon-free language. Aim to avoid using technical terms that may confuse or intimidate those you’re speaking with.
Finally, focus on keeping your message as short and concise as possible while highlighting the most important benefits and applications of the idea you’re communicating. Reference your talking points when necessary to help yourself stay on track.
Confident communication tip 4: Practice active listening
Active listening refers to asking for concerns, questions and feedback while you’re communicating your idea, and addressing those comments with an open and curious attitude. Not only does active listening give your audience space to consider your idea, as you gain buy-in during your presentation, your confidence will grow.
By actively listening to what your audience has to say about your idea, you show your openness to collaboration — and you’re more likely to gain the approval of your listeners.
Communicating your ideas with confidence can be challenging — especially if you’re uncertain about how your audience may react. But by doing the thorough research it takes to understand every angle of your topic, relating with your listeners, avoiding jargon and filler words, and actively listening while you share, you stand a good chance of persuading your audience to embrace your new idea. Remember, anyone can communicate with confidence — it just takes a bit of practice, preparation and relatability!
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact ushere.