How to Sound Smarter in 7 Steps
Very few people get excited about public speaking. For many of us, having all eyes turn toward us in anticipation of any kind of speech—even something as basic as sharing an idea in a brainstorming meeting—is a nightmare. But no one gets very far in the workplace (or in life) by being totally silent. Sometimes we need to sell ourselves, and the only way to do that is by talking. An infographic from the student writing service Write My Essays has a few smart suggestions for being a better, smarter-sounding public speaker. (Editor's Note: We want to go on record as saying that while the infographic has some valuable tips, we don't condone the work Write My Essays does—we think students should write their own essays.)
Below are six good tips for making a good impression when speaking.
There are technically seven tips in the infographic, but we’re going to recommend that you disregard No. 5: “Avoid ‘vocal fry’ or other vocal irritants.” Because frankly, if you’re a dude, no one will notice. While the creaky sounds of vocal fry are neither new to speech patterns nor only attributable to women, young, female speakers—especially women working on podcasts and radio shows—bear the brunt of the backlash against it. As mental_floss’s resident linguist Akira Okrent has pointed out, Noam Chomsky has a pretty bad case of vocal fry himself, and no one thinks he sounds like an idiot. Whether your voice dips a little low or you say “just” a few more times than absolutely necessary, if you’re a woman, someone’s going to complain about the way you talk. Focus on making smart points, and don’t waste too much energy trying to over-regulate your natural voice patterns.
On the other hand, No. 7, “Don’t weigh in unless you have something to add,” is golden advice. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t be afraid to keep quiet.
[h/t Life Hacker]