A big success factor at work is getting your voice heard, and gaining the right credibility to get others to listen is essential. Rhetoric expert Elaine Eksvärd gives her tips:
Build your credibility
If you’re at the bottom of your workplace's hierarchy, you can build up your credibility by quoting what someone else higher up the ladder has said. For example, if Arthur at your workplace is higher on the hierarchy and has said something that will strengthen your message, then let people know. Begin with "Arthur said..." and then attach your opinion to Arthur’s message.
Think about the tone
One of the most common mistakes many make is to raise their voice at the end of their sentences. This makes them sound like a question. To make it sound like a believable statement, try to lower your voice at the end of your sentences. Imagine Barack Obama saying the same thing. Pretending to give a presidential speech will surely give you a more even, sincere tone.
Avoid nervous laughter
Laughter is nice when something is fun, but laughing nervously gives an uneasy impression of you. Remember to eliminate all unnecessary laughter when you want to give your opinion.
Make people like you
It might sound contradictory but sometimes the best way to get your message across is by listening. We like people who like to listen so if we start by doing that, we’ve prepared them to be more willing to receive our message. People won’t listen to you if they don’t like you, no matter how good the message. You need to be perceived as a good person. Nod when people talk to show you’re paying attention. Ask them to tell you more. The amount of time you give is the amount of time you can take later.
Tackle interruptions smoothly
Some people won’t allow you enough time no matter the amount of time you generously gave them. You might start talking but they can’t help themselves, they want to keep talking. I call these people “monologue monsters” and there are ways to interrupt them, but do so kindly and gladly with a smile. Comments like: "I was not really ready,” ensure you will not be perceived as easy-minded or a conflict maker.
Avoid being a statue
People read body language when they listen, so give them something to read. Keep eye contact and have an open body language. Hiding your palms can be perceived as not telling the truth so make sure you keep that open posture.
Elaine Eksvard is the CEO and Founder of rhetoric agency, Snacka Snyggt, that offers a variety of courses in modern rhetoric, presentation techniques and sales rhetoric. She is a Swedish TV personality and an avid blogger writing about family life, rhetoric, relationships and fitness. She is the author of Read My Lips published by LID Publishing.