One of my personal goals this month is to work on personal branding. I will be reaching out to friends who are successful in their own right and people I see as mentors to guide me as I work towards being a better person. For this article, I will be writing tips which I find useful and action plans that I will performing to speak better and improve my arguments.
Tip 1: Practice Enunciation and Pronunciation
Many of you are not aware that I am currently learning German. One of the things that I struggle with (Not the gender) but getting the pronunciation right. The advice that I received from my German teacher is to practice speaking daily. Don’t be afraid to open your mouth wide in order to improve your enunciation.
Now, I dedicate 15 minutes daily to either speak in front of the mirror or listen to podcast and read the manuscript.
Tip 2: Avoid Swearing
This is a no brainer, but I still hear people cursing in professionally settings. Reserve your ‘venting out’ to after work and mind your manners outside.
Tip 3: Choose your words wisely
A continuation from point 2. I usually pinch the fleshy area between my thumb and index finger when I am nervous or when someone is getting on my nerves.
When you speak, ensure people can understand you speak simply so others are not intimated by you. When needed, improve your arguments. When you can do this, you are making others included and people will not find you unapproachable and showing off.
I find that listening to audiobooks, and watching Tedtalks or other shows seem to improve the way I communicate. Hopefully they are useful for you too.
Tip 4: Speak without filters
Filters are words we use between words. They may not necessary be bad although my mentors at Toastmasters will disagree. I don’t deny that good speeches don’t use filters. However, filters are often used when people are struggling with what to say or rather they are thinking of what to say next.
An easy way to avoid this is to speak slowly. Form the sentence in your head before saying it. For German, I have to write it down first before saying it. I’m far from perfect in this aspect. Filters usually occur between thoughts and when the sentence changes. So instead of saying “umm” or “like” just pause…and continue with your story.
Let me know if you have other tips.
Tip 5: Control your volume
We need to control our indoor and outdoor voices. Be considerate when you speak and avoid turning heads. They are often soft spoken and often times the person listening to them needs to lean in a bit to hear more about them. Never boasts and never yells.
Tip 6: Speaking with kindness and grace
Elevate the success of others and be humble with yours. They know their manners: they know when to speak, when to listen, and when to interrupt. The goal is to sound pleasant with your words and make sure others feel enlightened, not unimpressed after speaking to you.
Be kind to others at all times. Know when to keep your silence. You can be honest and strong, but not rude.