Forget being a wimpy, milquetoast, wallflower. It’s time to be powerful, forthright, and in control. And I’m here to help. I have tips from Diane DiResta, author of “How To Communicate Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz”. And although this is mainly aimed at being more assertive in a business situation, I think you can use this advice in any scenario when you feel like curling up into a ball.
- We’ll start with advice for women. Stop all the nodding. Women naturally nod their heads while listening to someone else, not because they agree with them, but because it’s a physical cue that says, “I’m listening”. But men don’t get that. They’ll just automatically assume you agree with them. So stop the nodding ladies. It can unintentionally make you seem weak.
- You can also project power by keeping the pitch of your voice down at the end of a statement. Ending on a high note conveys uncertainty, like you’re asking a question or seeking permission. And actually this is a speech pattern that a lot of people on the west coast have adopted. It’s Valley Girl talk. So end low if you want to seem sure of yourself.
- Another way to seem large and in charge, don’t stick a tag line at the end of your statements. Like, “I’d like you to credit my account, okay?” or “This steak is undercooked, you know what I mean?” Tag lines weaken your conviction.
- Don’t stop at no. If you really want something, like a refund or your boss’ permission to do something, keep calmly stating what you want over and over. Don’t let the first “no” get in your way. Research shows that if you keep this up, odds are you’ll eventually get what you want. Just don’t be obnoxious about it.
Want to know more? Check out the book, “How To Communicate Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz”.