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How To Instantly Sound More Confident The Next Time You Make A Phone Call

How To Instantly Sound More Confident The Next Time You Make A Phone Call
Cordless Phone

Today’s hack is simple, and effective. I use it almost every day.

The next time you leave a message on someone’s cell phone, press ‘#’ when you’re done. On 99% of cell phone carriers you will then be given an opportunity to listen to your message, and if needed, delete it to record a new one.

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Why should you do this? I’m glad you asked.

If you’re anything like me, you will be utterly shocked at how you sound on the phone. It’s probably nothing like how you sound in your head.

When I’ve listened to my messages in the past, I couldn’t believe that I sounded so depressed, sleepy, aloof, or annoyed (each of which came across at different times, whether I felt that way or not).

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People make all sorts of snap judgments when hearing your voice. Your tone, pitch, pace, and inflection conveys all sorts of meaning (far more than the actual words themselves).

Some common problems you can try to eliminate from your speech are:

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  • Saying ‘um’ and ‘ah’ more often than you should
  • Saying ‘like’, ‘sort of’, ‘maybe’, ‘you know’ or other filler words which can make you sound unsure or immature
  • Raising the pitch of your voice at the end of a statement (as if you were asking a question), which sounds child-like (try saying “My name is [your name]” and raising the pitch at the end)
  • Speaking constantly in the same tone of voice, which can make you sound boring and tired

If you’d like to improve your voice, I highly recommend Dr. Carol Flemming’s audio book, The Sound Of Your Voice.

In it she plays recordings of various job applicants, and you’ll instantly realize how powerful your first impressions are about each person. Some of them you are ready to turn away after hearing them speak for five seconds, and you can tell that they have no idea what they sound like! She goes on to recommend that you record your voice and helps you analyze it for problems.

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Personally, I didn’t have time to record my voice each day and review the recordings, but I had another source of voice recordings readily available: my voice mail messages.

Use this hack and I guarantee that…

  • You won’t sound anything like you think on the phone
  • You’ll start to see opportunities to improve
  • People will return your calls faster and more often
  • You’ll save yourself embarrassing moments when your first message didn’t come out right

Brian Armstrong is an authority on how to start a business. To learn how to get out of your 9-to-5 job, start working for yourself, and achieve financial freedom, visit his website at StartBreakingFree.com. You can also discover how to start a business in one month for under $100.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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