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3 Little Tricks That Will Make You Sound More Authoritative

3 Little Tricks That Will Make You Sound More Authoritative

Have you noticed how some people seem blessed with the ability to convince with their words? They are confident and powerful speakers – who know how to successfully deliver their messages. Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t naturally have these skills. For example, when called on to speak in a team meeting, we may find ourselves stuttering our words, drifting from our core message, and generally sounding weak and ineffectual. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can use to instantly boost your credibility and authority.

1. Present both sides of an argument

Recent consumer psychology research has shown that two-sided arguments are more persuasive.[1] This may seem counterintuitive, as presenting only one side of a story would appear to be the obvious choice when looking to persuade people.

However, by presenting both sides of an argument, your audience will believe that you’ve studied your subject carefully and meticulously. They’ll also know that you’ve chosen your personal preference only after looking at all the facts.

A great example of this can be found on websites such as AliExpress, Amazon and eBay. These global, online retail giants encourage customers to rate products and services, and give feedback – good or bad. By offering this feature, people considering a purchase can quickly determine if a product or service is suitable for them.

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This system works perfectly. Picture the alternatives:

  • No ratings or feedback allowed
  • Only positive ratings or feedback allowed

Clearly, neither of these would be effective.

So remember, to persuade your audience to your point of view, be sure to present both sides of an argument.

2. Give key information at the start of your presentation

Are you familiar with a concept known as the “primacy effect?”[2] If not, here’s what you need to know.

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The primacy effect states that information given at the beginning of a sequence has a stronger and longer-lasting impact than information presented later. In other words, to have the most impact, you should place your key messages and benefits at the start of your presentation. By doing this, your audience will immediately perceive your information (and you) as being favorable, helpful, and instructive.

Of course, you don’t want to give all of your key information right at the outset, but just enough to catch your audience’s attention. If your presentation is broken down into sections, then start each of these sections with strong ideas and memorable stories.

By starting strongly, you’ll boost your self-confidence, while at the same time magically captivating your audience.

3. Remove the phrase “I think” from your sentences

A common problem with ineffective presenters is that they often begin sentences with the phrase: “I think…”

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In day-to-day conversations, this phrase is perfectly acceptable and normal. However, if you want to be a persuasive communicator, then you should definitely drop “I think” from your sentences. It’s all about sounding clear and decisive.

As an example for you, which of the below sounds the most convincing?

“I think our product is of high quality and has good value.”

“Our product is of high quality and has good value.”

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It’s obvious isn’t it? The second example goes straight to the point, and oozes confidence and strength, whereas the first example leaves a feeble impression.

Whenever you need to present information, adopt the three tips above to make yourself sound compelling and authoritative. Audiences will grasp your information quicker and easier. And they’ll also remember the key takeaways for far longer.

Try it and see for yourself.

Reference

More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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