Conference Call Tips: Speaking With Confidence

by Conference Call Admin on March 1, 2011

Part of being successful, is sounding successful, and this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Most of us have to practice. On the bright side, all you need are some pretty simple hints and tips you can follow as well as some good old-fashioned practice.

Before you know it, you’ll sound confident, successful and easily convince everyone else you know exactly what you’re talking about. Better still, you’ll not only be able to use these speaking skills in a conference call, but they’ll help you in all styles and types of public speaking, including phone calls and voice messages.

Eliminate Filler Language and Words of Uncertainty

In regular speech, we often add filler words while thinking through the next sentence, or sometimes, simply out of habit. These words feel natural and our friends likely don’t notice them, but attendees and people you’re trying to impress will.

Sounds like ‘um’, ‘ah’, and ‘uh’ are the most common culprits, and the first thing you should focus on removing from your professional speech. ‘You know’, ‘in a nut shell’, and ‘like’ are filler words we often use that minimize the confidence in our voice. Lastly, remove words that make you sound unsure or undecided, such as ‘maybe’, ‘kind of’, and ‘sort of’.

Carry a Tone of Confidence

The sound of your voice is as important as the words you say on teleconference calls. When many people get nervous, they speak quickly and significantly raise the tone of their voices. As you can imagine, it can get pretty annoying and difficult to understand. So, try to speak as normally as possible and watch for little giveaways like raising the tone of your voice at the ends of your sentences and quivering.

When speaking, say your words slightly slower than you normally would. However, make sure it sounds animated to keep everyone’s interest and attention. Choose your words deliberately, and try to use active verbs as often as possible.

Practice What You Preach

Practice makes perfect, and learning to speak confidently is no different. Take the time to record your voice while rehearsing your speeches and pitches. Then, you can go back through each sentence in detail and make note of the habits and glitches in your speaking patterns. Record yourself again. Then, compare the versions to hear the improvement. You’ll be amazed by the difference.

If nerves are the biggest obstacle for you, start gradually and work yourself up. Get yourself started by speaking in front of a mirror. Then, get a few friends together, let them know what to listen for, and do your talk for them. Lastly, try talking on a smaller scale to strangers in an environment you can record. You’ll find it less stressful and great practice for those times when you’ll be under extreme pressure.

Speaking confidently is difficult for most people all on its own, but it can get even tougher when you’re under a lot of pressure. The only way to battle this is to practice and avoid getting frustrated. You’ll quickly discover the hard work will pay off, and everything from chance meetings and unexpected phone calls to in-person conferences will become much more fulfilling for everyone.

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