If you’d have meet me a couple of years ago, you definitely would not have believed that I’d run a coaching business. (YEP) I’ve been called the ‘silent’ one. The ‘quiet’ one. I used to be someone who couldn’t really say anything she wanted to because I felt I might say something stupid. I might be misunderstood, I might become a laughing stock, I might not look cool. There was a part of me that didn’t believe she had anything good enough to say or talent enough to say. Believe me it was pretty hell-ish.
Imagine being trapped and feeling suffocated inside each time you want to say something but simply can’t find the voice? It is a kind of hell that ruins your self-esteem, self-confidence and slowly you also tend to feel as if people are just out to get you!
I’ve been there and I’ve been robbed of not expressing myself. I was in my 3rd year of under-grad when we had a program on communication and presentation skills. I remember I wasn’t really looking forward to that program. I mean, NO! It was pretty daunting. But what I learnt from that communication program changed the way I then started expressing myself. I was told by one of the trainers that I was good with the way I talked and that I could make the best out of it, if I just tweaked my skills a bit more. I consider myself lucky enough, that advice was so valuable.
But before I dive further into it I want to let you know that the idea is N O T to communicate and express the way others E X P E C T you to but the way your R E A L L Y A R E!
I’m going to share with you the changes I made in myself which allowed me to express myself better.
1. Don’t rush –
Have you ever spoken way too fast, because you were nervous? Yea that. When you rush your words, the meaning of what you’re trying to say gets lost somewhere. You don’t have to be mechanical or change your style but slow down just a bit so your nervousness doesn’t show and you seem confident of what you’re trying to say.
2. Eye Contact –
I’ve to say, this is something I am good in but I still polished this skill a bit. Maintaining eye contact builds a connection with the person you are speaking to. This helps in expressing what you’d like to say more freely. Especially in personal and intimate relationships. It’s a selling point in business relationships. Your eye contact determines how confident you are.
3. Focus on what you want to say –
You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to be perceived you just need to focus on what you want to say. Sometimes people spend a lot of time trying to focus on ‘sounding good/nice/polite and less time on what they want to say. Your content will also set tone for your, tone. Try to practice if that’s an option or record your own voice to know how you sound.
4. Use gestures –
This will make you look confident and expressive at the same time. Body language plays key role in our communications. Of course, you need to know how much to use and how little to use but once you balance, it’s effective.
5. Listen well –
You can’t express when you have no idea what’s going on. And believe it or not most people don’t listen well, so they fumble while responding. Listening is basic and important and will help you express the right way.
6. Don’t lose your style –
We all have a way we like to communicate. The accent, the tone, all of it sets you apart from other people. Pay attention to your style and use it. Make the best use of it because it’s going to help you express better and feel confident too. Obviously if you come off as someone who is rude or unpleasant you may need to recheck a few things but don’t pretend or copy the way someone else does.
7. Don’t pretend to know when you don’t –
Be confident in admitting when you aren’t aware of something or simply don’t know. Pretending to know is unpleasant and if you get caught, it’s also embarrassing. So, it’s okay to not know and admitting you don’t know doesn’t make you stupid.
These are a few ways that I’ve applied in my communication and it’s worked well for me. But look, there no one simple formula that fits all. You need to practice and try and see what works for you. It’s not about perfecting it or following a trend, it’s about what works for you and helps you express better.
I hope this article helps you express yourself in a way that feels more comfortable to you and works for you. If you liked this article tap the heart so I know you like it and tell me in the comments the barriers you face when it comes to expressing yourself.
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Thank you for stopping by!
Pause, breathe, Dream