When you think of the word “confidence,” what types of image comes to mind?
Maybe you’ve conjured up acute imagery of that “Fonzie” type character that just oozes confidence. You know, that guy that seems like he is stuck in a time warp of yesteryear, but can get all the chicks, rides a motorcycle, probably plays in a rock band of some sorts, and has this unspoken aura of sureness in his grease-monkey demeanor. Maybe it’s thoughtful apparitions of a grizzly-faced action hero being briefed on how he is outnumbered by the bad guys and simply laughing in the face of danger. But, can I ask, did you think of yourself?
When it comes to being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) at Incept, I think the biggest thing I personally notice in my communicative comrades is that they exuberantly emit this vibe of confidence in each one of their conversations. And, trust me, the donors we speak with can hear that in our voices. When you speak to someone, even if it isn’t face to face, that person can definitely pick up on the initial tone you put out.
So whether you are afraid to talk to that cute girl in your apartment complex or unsure how to start negotiations with your boss for that big raise, do not fear. We are going to go over some basic things you can do to feel confident and increase confidence in your everyday conversations.
- You are awesome
In most cases, perception is reality. If you aren’t one of those people who were born with a sense of great self-confidence, then this is your starting point. Focus on reasons why you are a great person to talk to and those thoughts of self-reflection will surface in your conversations. That does not mean come across brash and rude speaking about how wonderful you are, but develop a sense of self-worth that will encourage you to come out of your shell. You are a smart individual who is definitely capable of connecting and captivating people. When you realize this, starting a conversation can be much easier.
- Personalize the conversation
Everyone likes to be recognized or simply hear their own name. It feels good, and it makes the person with whom you are conversing more comfortable. When you are talking with someone try interjecting their name in the dialog. It will show you are interested in talking with them, as well as provide a sign of respect that will build you good rapport.
- Smile while you talk
When you are talking to someone on the phone who has had a bad day, can’t you hear that tone in their voice? On the other hand, when we are speaking with someone who has had a good day we can tend to hear the smile in their tone. From personal experience as a CME (Conversational Marketing Expert), I can say that when you smile there is something about your tone that changes. People feel at ease not only by you looking confident and happy but also by the tone that is a byproduct of it all. This can be whether you are in person or not and is quite effective.
- Listen to be in control
This is particularly important to a CME (Conversational Marketing Expert). One of the easiest things you can do to let a conversation flow naturally and freely is to get your subject talking about him or herself. I know as a CME (Conversational Marketing Expert) I have always asked, “What got you donating blood in the first place?” The donor will usually give a brief tale about how they started, and I can notice the change in their voice when I ask them things like that. People love to talk about themselves, and sometimes being in control of the conversation is letting someone talk about their past or something they are interested in. It gives you the chance to listen and build immediate rapport with them. Based on the outcome of their answer, you can control where the conversation then goes.
Remember, all these tips I have presented above I learned or at least sharpened through being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME), but you can use these tips in everyday life to feel a little more confident about walking into an unknown conversation or even being the one to initiate a conversation.
What helps you to be conversationally confident when talking with a stranger?