Confidence is key to selling success. By projecting confidence, prospects and clients feel comfortable putting their own faith in you and what you are selling. Therefore, it’s important that you are mindful of what you are saying, as words have a major impact. “Word choice can be the difference between getting your opinion brushed aside or having someone take your opinion seriously,” writes Caroline Gray in an article for Glassdoor. She emphasizes the need to monitor word choice when trying to project confidence.
For insight, she spoke with Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. They discussed the importance of word choice and how it affects others’ perceptions of you. Below are a few highlights from the interview:
- Garfinkle doesn’t believe there is a lone word that alone hurts one’s ability to project confidence. Instead, he says “filler words” can kill credibility. “Filler words, including ‘Umm,’ ‘Uh’ and ‘Like’ indicate you’re not exactly sure what word you’re going to say next, which makes you sound less confident,” he explains.
- Other weak words (in a professional context) include “usually” and “often,” as they show the listener that you aren’t 100% sure about what you are saying.
- Some words have lost their power because of overuse. “State of the art” and “cutting edge” are two examples of such words. “Today, these terms are used so often in marketing copy they’ve completely lost their impact,” Garfinkle says. Use these phrases only when something is truly groundbreaking.
- There is one word that you can add to your conversations and presentations that will project confidence: “Definitely!” This word lets others know that you are 100% sure of yourself and your statements.
When speaking, it’s vital that reps project a confident, assured image. Consider everything you say and how it will impact others’ view of you. Also, even more importantly, take time to listen. As Garfinkle adds, “The art of being a confident communicator begins with listening. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, truly listen to what the other person is saying, take a moment to consider their ideas and then formulate a clear and confident response.”