You can learn to speak with confidence by studying the way you make statements. If you often say “I think,” “kind of,” “maybe,” “probably,” or “just,” you minimize the importance of your statements.
One of the most empowering things a person can do is to speak confidently because words shape the attitudes of others.
As you consider your linguistics, note how many times you use words that indicate indecision or ambivalence. The word “try,” for example, indicates that you will make an attempt, not that you will actually do something. “Try” sets you up for failure because you don’t actually have to succeed.
The word “think” has the same connotation. If you say “I think it would be a good idea to …” your statement is much less powerful than, “It would be a good idea to …” “I think I could lead this project,” is far less effective than, “I could lead this project.”
Therapist Carol Juergensen Sheets says in group exercises, she and colleagues find that the average number of times people use these words is 16 times in a five-minute period. When you recognize that you use them, repeat the sentence to yourself without the qualifier and with confidence. Practice to change old patterns of speaking.
Sheets, of Indianapolis Psychiatric Associates, says your ability to speak confidently and assertively makes a difference in how others see you. If words shape attitudes, it’s important to choose words that empower your belief in yourself and increase your confidence.