You need to come across as professional. It could be for a business meeting or an important job interview. The problem is you don’t feel professional. You struggle to dress the right way, and worry about how you’ll sound. Here are six steps to make yourself seem more professional than you really feel, and impress the people you’re talking to.
Speak Clearly and Slowly
Try not to rush your words. This makes you sound like an excited or nervous child. It also makes it harder to understand you. Try to keep your speech slow and as clear as possible.
Pronounce each word properly, and don’t get into the habit of rushing sections just to get through them. If the section has no relevance and is worth rushing through, it doesn’t need to be in your speech!
Keep Your Voice Deep
If you speak in a high-pitched voice, you’re going to come across as young and naive. It’s time to lower your register. This will also help you slow down your words because you will be so focused on this.
A lower voice is also easier for people to take in. They will understand more, and it won’t grate right through them.
Practise on a Friend
Get a friend to help you out. Being prepared will make you look extremely professional, and practise helps with that.
Your friend can also tell you when to slow down, and whether you struggle to speak clearly in certain parts. If you can’t get a friend to help you, record yourself speaking and listen to the way that you sound.
Don’t Babble About Nothing
Watch out for the babbling. Plenty of people do this because they’re nervous, but you look unprofessional and annoying.
Stick to your point, and make sure anything you say is relevant to the question, situation or speech that you are giving. If you find something isn’t needed, take it out of your speech and move on.
Get Rid of the Ums, Ahs and “Likes”
When you speak to your friends, you tend to keep your words casual.
You’ll add “like” into sentences that don’t need to be there, and you’ll use phrases like “he seriously did that” or use ums and ahs now and then. These are all things that come across as unprofessional, and they make you seem like a teenage girl. Avoid doing them. This is where a friend will be able to help you, but you can also record yourself to spot where you do it without thinking.
Watch Out for Talking Down to Someone
It’s really easy to start talking down to someone when trying to come across as professional. You still need to keep the conversation friendly, and make yourself look approachable.
If you come across as demanding and higher than everyone else, they’re going to turn their noses up at you. This makes it harder to get your point across, get the job or sell your product.