The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2018 - 78

COMMUNICATION
ADVICE

SKILLS
Confident
Communications
BY AMY KINNAIRD

Y

ou may not like it, but we're always being judged.
Consciously or unconsciously everyone judges. It may
be how you look or what you say or how you say it.
We communicate with our words and our body and

our voice. And since you communicate all day, every day, you're
making an impression on the people around you all of the time.
Make it a positive impression.

The first words out of
your mouth need to have
impact. You need to
grab their attention and
provide big value.

78

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Are you someone that others want
to listen to, who gets respect when
you walk in the room and open your
mouth? Do people listen to you and follow you as a leader? Some people seem
to have been born with the charisma
and skills to influence others easily.
Others need a little boost. Luckily,
being a confident communicator is a
learned skill.
When you communicate confidently
you put your audience at ease and build
trust with them. Or to say it another
way, if you come across as shy or
uneasy you make the listener uncomfortable. They are much less willing to
go along with your ideas. While many
of our conversations happen over email
or text, there are plenty of times when
we are in front of our customers, suppliers, contractors or team members
and need to come across in a strong,
positive way. It might be one-on-one
or in a meeting sitting around a table.

What are some factors
that affect confident
communications?
1. Body language. Remember that
the way you walk, sit, stand and
move is being interpreted by those
watching you.
a. People who lack confidence
look down, avoid eye contact
and often use small, guarded
gestures. Confident people
have great posture, walk with
authority by holding their head
up, chin up, eyes up and use
big gestures. Good posture also
allows you to breathe deeply from
your diaphragm which positively
affects your voice and helps to get
rid of nerves.
b. Keep your hands out of your
pockets and don't fidget. Jingling
the coins in your pocket, swinging
your legs or tapping your feet all
show anxiety, not confidence.
c. Have a great, firm handshake. I've
gotten awful handshakes from both
men and women. This is a major
confidence indicator. PLEASE -
no "limp fish" handshake. A firm
handshake with a woman is as
important as with a man. And
don't forget to stand up and shake
the hands of people coming in to a
meeting if you are already seated.
d. If you are standing, plant your feet
firmly on the ground at a natural
width apart. Don't rock back and
forth which shows nervousness.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2018

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