The Startup
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The Startup

Confident entrepreneurs walk away with funding and make sales…

3 tips for hearing certainty when you speak.

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People sense confidence.
They pick up on how your voice comes across. It mimics how you’re feeling.

Investors will look you in the eye, wondering if YOU, through your vision will take them to the promise land.

Sure, you could learn public speaking to become a confident speaker.
Increase vocal variety. Connect with your audience. Project your voice. Come across as authentic.

I’m guessing you don’t have 6 to 12 months to master these techniques when speaking under pressure.

That brings me to option B.

3 Tips to Sound Confident…and minimize training time

I. An Easier Way to Alter How You Sound

What I’ve noticed from working with people on enhancing speech –is this.

They sound more confident when speaking about something they feel passionate about.

Of course, you feel passionate about your solution or whatever you sell.

What’s better is describing why your solution matters for the people you target.

Show others that you’re passionate about what your market cares about… their problems, frustrations and ambitions.

People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole. –Theodore Levitt

By reading the hypothetical example below aloud, you can practice sounding confident.
Notice how your voice naturally changes when you feel the emotion in that description.

This is similar to what Christina Applegate advised dancers on the show, So You Think You Can Dance on looking happy.

Don’t try to make your faces look happy. Feel happy. Your faces will reflect how you feel.

A family raising a child with high needs, in the United States spends 3 to 10 hours per week attending therapy sessions and commuting.
They spend $5- $50 000 per year on uninsured therapy expenses, per child. Many families are forced to reduce work hours to accommodate appointments and increased sick time.

Add in related worries.
Struggles with school success, literacy, friendships, participation in physical activities and even, play. Thus, attending therapy sessions is CRITICAL!!

We wanted to help by reducing demands on family resources. Our team has the expertise AND equipment access to create a VR communication system with higher level end-to-end encryption.

NOTHING was created before conversations with ALL therapy team members. Developing our system was a PARTNERSHIP. At every stage, we communicated with an interest group. That’s how we found out how much families value confidentiality. They wouldn’t consider using our system until we could prove it met the highest standards for privacy and security.

Each time you go over your pitch, focus on the pains and frustrations of your target population, as well as their goal desires and dreams. Your voice will naturally add vocal variety when you feel the emotion of your message.

Next up. Sounding confident in front of others.

II. Copy a Pattern for Sounding Confident

Simon Sinek confidently connects with his audience by following a pattern.

  • Speak to one person at a time by holding eye contact for an entire thought or sentence.
  • Pause longer and more often for silent breaks.

(Speak to Inspire Action. Tips to help you speak and present in a way that will inspire others to join your cause. © Simon Sinek Inc.)

Read the example below aloud, to practice using Sinek’s pattern.
Then, outline ways you’ll connect with your audience or listener(s). The techniques give you time to feel your content.

Maintain eye contact. Add pauses. Prolong silence.

By a show of hands, who is or knows a parent raising a child who attends therapy?

I thank you and others taking on that role.

It’s definitely worthy of extra help with family resources.

My brother was diagnosed with speech and fine motor apraxia. I experienced first-hand the extra care and expenses that goes into raising a child with higher than average needs. Some parents are raising more than one child who needs therapy.

Turning to our data…

A family raising a child with high needs, in the United States, spends 3 to 10 hours per week –attending therapy sessions and commuting.

They spend $5- $50 000 per year –on uninsured therapy expenses per child.

Many families are forced to reduce work hours.

Add in related worries.

Struggles with school success, literacy, friendships, participation in physical activities and even, play.

Thus, attending therapy sessions is CRITICAL!

We wanted to help these families by reducing demands on their resources.

Our team has the expertise and equipment access to create a VR communication system with higher level end-to-end encryption.

Nothing was created without conversations with all therapy team members.

At every stage, we communicated with an interest group.

We tested equipment with 50 Beta kids.

Pilot studies revealed that when a parent or caregiver participated with the child while virtually interacting with a therapist, the child received the same therapy benefits as in-person sessions.

So, what do initial results show?

This saves a family an average of XYZ hours of annual commuting time and between XYZ and ZYX dollars per year on travel.

Yes, that’s a lot of white space!
Quickly proving 3 points.

  • Confident people talk less and pause more.
  • They make important points stand out. Thus, points get more ‘white space’.
  • Pausing allows you more time to feel what you’re saying.
    Providing your audience with more time to remember, process, think about meaning, and hear emotion in your voice.

As you practice your powerful message, play around with pausing and holding eye contact. This naturally slows your rate –raising the impression of confidence.
Once pacing goes well, focus on why your message matters to increase vocal variety.

Moving on. Progressing faster with confidence.

III. Simulate Speaking Under Pressure and Receive Feedback

You asked for faster techniques, not easier ones. :)

Ever notice your voice sounds confident while practicing within your comfort zone, but not while speaking in front of investors or a potential buyer?

Your brain knows it’s in a stressful situation.
Break downs randomly occur. Especially when overloaded with cognitive information, pressure to perform well, plus a demanding objective. (Get that investment or we can’t make payroll!)

One way to reduce break downs is to simulate high-pressure conditions while practicing. Plus, get critical feedback at the same time.

Six ideas to mimic high-pressure situations.

1. Videotape yourself presenting or sharing. Then, watch the recording and analyzing it for vocal variety and connection techniques.

2. Practice holding connection and prolonging someone’s attention.

3. Practice while walking and visualizing talking to someone who’s ultra-critical.

4. Vary your content slightly, every time you practice so you can adapt it when sharing under pressure.

5. Practice in front of one or more people who appear challenging, skeptical, judgmental, angry, bored or show zero emotion.

6. Practice while distractions or obstacles are added in, i.e. lights or power goes off, extreme noise suddenly appears, background volume rises, technical equipment won’t work, you arrive late with zero time to prepare, you lose key documents, a child interrupts.

Ask your feedback partner(s) to comment on the following…

  • At what places did your voice confidence drop?
  • Where did your voice NOT sound authentic?
  • Where did you lose connection?

Now you know 3 secrets for coming across as confident –with minimal training.

By focusing on why your message matters for the people you target, you’ll alter how you feel and sound.
Influencing how you make others feel.

People want to trust that you care about the people your startup benefits. When you care, they hear it in your voice.

And, you’ll come across as sounding more confident.

Using your voice to connect is a powerful way to boost confidence.

Confident people say less. They feel the meaning of what they say.

Practicing while simulating high-pressure situations facilitates sounding confident in these situations.

What’s it going to take before people hear certainty in your voice?

And confidently decide, you’re worth investing in or buying from.

Ready to confidently spread your creations and products?

Receive email letters… to empower the ART + SCIENCE of speaking and storytelling.

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Keri Vandongen

Keri Vandongen

Speech-language pathologist. Empowering you –so your child develops a love for communicating (speaking, conversing, reading, writing) and connecting.