I’m an introvert.
So I felt like I didn’t belong and there was something wrong with me when I was in high school and university.
I’m not ashamed of being an introvert.
In fact, introversion has its advantages too.
Nevertheless, there are always areas we can work on to improve ourselves.
I’ve been working on gaining respect from people even though I’m quiet.
Here’s a summary of their techniques.
1. Speak Slowly
I speak quickly when I’m nervous. So I can be unclear and confusing at times.
To command respect, you should speak slowly so your points are coherent, making it easier for people to understand you and hold their attention.
2. Be Non-reactive
A student of mine had a nosebleed the first year I taught kindergarten. It was the first time I encountered a situation like that. So I freaked out. And it made him freak out too.
But my co-teacher reacted calmly and de-escalated the situation. I respected her more after that.
What did I learn?
You project confidence when you’re non-reactive in stressful situations. You show people you’re confident in your ability to handle whatever is happening. And people respect you for that.
3. Eye Contact
I hold someone’s gaze when I’m listening to them talk. But my eyes shift downward to the left when I’m talking. This is something I’m working on.
I want to learn to maintain eye contact with someone while I’m speaking. You appear more interested and confident when you do so.
Use the 50/70 rule. Maintain eye contact for 50% of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening.
4. Slow, Relaxed Movements
I used to feel nervous when I taught ESL a few years ago. I’d move quickly to the whiteboard. To grab my props. And to set up my computer.
And I realize now these quick movements signalled to my students I was anxious and intimidated.
No wonder all the more experienced teachers moved with ease. They were also the ones who commanded the most respect from the kids.
So don’t be in a rush. Fast movements make you seem more anxious.
Instead, move slowly and comfortably. This shows people you’re not pressured or intimidated. It shows people you’re in control. You have time. And you go at your own pace.
5. Tone of Voice
A few days ago, a new client asked me a question. I responded. Then ended my answer with, I hope that makes sense. Don’t do this if you want to command respect.
I learned from the video ending your statements in an upward inflection (making a statement a question) gives the impression you’re unsure of yourself.
Instead, end your statements in a downward inflection to show conviction with your tone. It shows you’re confident in what you’re saying.
6. Choice of Words
I tend to say I believe, I want to, I hope one day, and I think so when I speak.
I learned this language shows people you’re unsure of yourself.
To command more respect, show conviction with your words.
Instead of saying I want to, say I will.
7. Hand Gestures
My shoulders are often hunched while my hands are in my lap when I’m in a big group.
I learned from the video that this body language signals to people you’re unconfident, unsure of yourself, and shy.
To command more respect, be mindful of your posture. Make sure your back stays straight. And use hand gestures to add excitement and emphasis to your words.
Here are the 7 simple strategies I’ve learned from Charisma on Command to gain more respect as an introvert.
Maintain eye contact.
Have slow, relaxed movements.
Show conviction with your tone.
Show conviction with your words.
Use hand gestures to add excitement to your words.
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