I got extremely lucky in how I learned this lesson, and I wanted to share it with you. Recently, I was at an amazing event where we brainstormed as a group the ways we could give back to the community, with one of those ideas being put into action at the end of the event. So, a few finalists got to present their programs to the group, and when I was watching the presentations I noticed something interesting. Each person in their pitch spoke with conviction, like they had already won the competition.
They were saying things like, “we are going to implement a mentorship program”, or “we will work with veterans”. And the way they spoke left zero room for doubt. It made for a persuasive and compelling argument, which demanded confidence and respect.
If I were in that position I would have said something like “if selected, we would try to implement a mentorship program”, or “we’re gonna see if we can work with veterans”. If I’m being honest, I’d do that to put distance between the program and myself, just to protect myself from failure if it doesn’t get selected. But, the more I think of it, the more I realize that speaking like that would rule myself out before I even gave it a chance. My pitch would be over before I started because I didn’t fully believe in it. And that’s something the audience would recognize.
So, what can we do to speak with more conviction? For one, it’s about controlling our vocabulary. Some of us have a tendency to use weakened vocabulary so that our message is more likely to be received. So, avoid saying things like, "I just thought that"or “I mean” because it does present your message with conviction. And then second - just believe in yourself! If you truly believe in what you are speaking about, it will come off as much more confident and assured. Those are two takeaways that I definitely want to start working on, because after hearing the power behind these presentations, I want to give it a try for myself!