Are you shy? Do you tend to be more passive when you enter a room and hope that all eyes are not on you? Do you struggle to communicate your opinions, thoughts, and needs clearly and confidently? It’s not uncommon.
In fact, most people struggle to communicate and express themselves with confidence. However, it is a skill that can be learned and with some tips and a bit of practice, you can become more at ease when communicating with others.
1. Listen to Others and Learn from Their Mistakes and Successes
Listening is important for a few different reasons. When you spend time listening to others, you’ll learn some key do’s and don’ts for communicating. In a conversation with multiple people, listen to what others are saying and how the group responds to them.
You may learn that the best and most confident conversationalists ask more questions and spend more time listening than talking. This brings us to the next benefit of listening, which is that when you listen to others you’re able to respond with more relevant and insightful comments. And people tend to be more comfortable with people they know are listening to them.
2. Breathe and Think before You Speak
Before you speak, think about what you’re going to say. Make sure that you express yourself with clarity and that you don’t say anything that you’ll want to take back. It’s the old “think before you speak” suggestion, only in this case it’s also important that you breathe too so that you’re able to think with a calm and clear head.
3. Your Words Matter. You Have Value to Share
Remember that you have important information and insight to share. If you don’t share it, you may be depriving others of your knowledge, opinion, and information. You can help people, and your words and story have value. Share with others.
4. Practice Sharing and Start Small
Finally, as mentioned earlier practice really does help. Start expressing yourself in smaller situations. Maybe share an opinion when you’re talking with a friend or trusted family member. As you gain confidence sharing your opinion with people that you trust, you can try the experiment with co-workers, peers, and people that you meet in the outside world.
As you listen and learn, you’ll pick up that asking questions and being engaged in the conversation you’re having takes away the stress and anxiety. Instead of feeling like you’re in the spotlight, you’re engaged in a discussion that offers value to everyone involved. It’s much easier to relax in those situations. Expressing yourself with confidence comes over time. Learn, watch, breathe and enjoy communicating more confidently every day.