Talking confidently tool

Talking to people, especially people you have only just met, is not always easy. Some people seem to be able to talk to anyone and sound and look very confident. But most people find it more difficult. The good news is that with practice you can learn to sound and look more confident, even if at first you may not feel like it inside. Here are some tips to help you sound and feel more confident when you are talking to people.

Speak so people can hear you

When you are talking to someone try and stand or sit so they can see your face, and try and speak loud enough so that they can hear you ok. You might not feel very comfortable, especially if your face looks different, but it can really help. Sometimes if we are nervous we might put our hands to our face, or cover our face with our hair, or we might talk really quietly. This can make it harder for people to hear us. Try and keep your head up and your voice loud enough to be heard.

To start with, practice this with family or friends first, and ask them what you sound and look like – and look at how they are talking to you. Then practice it in other places that you know, like school or out with your friends.

Starting to talk to someone

Starting a new conversation is probably the trickiest part of talking to people. Lots of people find this hard. But remember, the other person might also be struggling to start a conversation with you too. One of the best ways to start a conversation is to ask the other person a question. For example: if you are at school, you might want to ask what classes they have, or what teachers. Or you might want to ask what their favourite subject is? Or if the other person is reading a book you might want to mention that you like the book too. Or ask them what the book is about. Or you might want to make a comment about something you can see or that makes you laugh, or just something that pops into your head.  Here is one example:

Tyrol was in the lunch queue at school when he noticed the boy behind him looking at him. He turned round and said “Ugh, mushy peas again! Good thing Wednesday only comes once a week.” “Yeah” said the other boy, “sludgy, gloopy peas!” They both laughed.

Imagine you are on the school bus and you want to talk to the person next to you. In a notebook, write down:

  • Two questions you might ask them
  • One comment you might make to them

Joining in 

Joining a conversation can be tricky and we are not always good at including other people. So, sometimes, we have to be brave and find a way to join in. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Listen to what people in the group are saying
  • Think about what is being talked about
  • Think about something you could say about that subject, for example:
    • Something you know about it
    • Something you think is interesting about it
    • Ask a question (most people like to be asked questions!)
    • Wait for a break or pause – and join in.

Imagine a group of school kids are talking about a film you saw last night. In your notebook, write down a sentence you might use to join the conversation.

Be prepared

When you are going out it can be helpful to think about some things you might talk to other people about. This does not mean that you have to stick to this, but it might help you to feel more confident if you have some ideas of what questions you might ask. 

Most of us do not find all this easy – sometimes you have to ‘fake it till you make it’. It might feel difficult at first, but after some practice it will feel easier.

Try looking at the Body language tool too.

Body language tool

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About confidence

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