Speaking With Conviction

Kind of

Sort of

Just (as in “I just want to suggest”)

Speaking with conviction meaning:

In an effort to be disciplined, a confident speech is given by the speaker or when building up the courage to speak. The ability to speak with conviction can be developed through practice and acquiring comfort in public speaking. Good speakers have knowledge of their topics, enthusiasm, clear diction, and volume control. They are good at being versatile and know how to work with different audiences.

To be clear, in everyday casual communication, there is nothing wrong with any of these words. But when you want to speak with conviction, the words you habitually choose, might be making you sound unsure or not confident.

There are times when I make suggestions, and times when I make recommendations. I’m deliberately choosing words that are effective to convey not just meaning, but how I want to be perceived.

Important of speaking with conviction

The benefits of speaking with conviction are obvious: it makes you more persuasive, influential and confident. In fact, we all know that when someone is convinced in what they are saying or doing, people are more likely to follow them.

Of course, being confident is important for any leader—but being able to back up your confidence with solid arguments will make a big difference in how others perceive you as a leader. Many of us start off our sentences with “I think” or “I believe,” but how can anyone take seriously an idea from someone who isn’t sure about what they’re saying?

We also know that people prefer leaders who are consistent over those who change their minds frequently (think about how many times Donald Trump has changed his mind on the topic of global warming). If the leader is only able to give a few vague reasons for making changes in their position, then this lack of conviction may make some members feel left out or even betrayed by their own party’s stance.

Examples of speaking with conviction

Here are some examples of speaking with conviction in different contexts:

  • Speaking with conviction in a professional setting. When you’re speaking to your boss about the need for more resources, or pitching an idea to a client, it’s important that you sound confident and assertive. If you say something like “I’m not sure if this will work,” they won’t trust your judgment. Instead, try phrasing it as “I think this would be really effective.” Even if it doesn’t seem 100 percent right at first, if you speak like someone who sees their own skills as valuable and well-developed enough to make an educated guess about what will happen next (even if there’s still room for error), then others are more likely to take your suggestions seriously.

Speaking with conviction tips:

Be careful falling into a pattern of habitual apology. The word “Sorry” can be a valuable way of mending fences but if we’re constantly speaking from the platform of apology, being sorry for having a different opinion, and punctuating our speech with sorry, we can loose credibility.

It’s important to think about the words that you are going to use when conveying difficult messages, leading when the pressure’s on, and getting buy in, so choose your words carefully.

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