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Communication

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  • Using "ah" and "um", partial sentences, and partial words. Studies have shown that people consider others who talk like this to lack confidence and not be too bright. It's a sign of nervousness. The reason we say "um" is because we're afraid we're going to be interrupted by the other person. Instead, don't be afraid to pause for effect. Pausing before important points will make you seem more competent and people will remember what you say.

  • Speaking too fast. This gives off the impression that you feel anxious and have low self-confidence. A normal, comfortable speaking rate varies within a moderate range from 125 to 150 words per minute. Slow down!

  • Speaking with a monotone voice (also known as mumbling). People with a narrow pitch range are viewed as unassertive, uninteresting, and lacking in confidence. So vary your pitch and you will be perceived as outgoing and alpha.

  • Pausing too long before responding to a question. This indicates that you're thinking too hard for your answer, which makes you seem indecisive. It also looks like you're trying too hard to win the other person's approval.

  • Looking down or to the side before answering a question. If you do need to look away before answering in order to think, then look up and to the side. Studies have shown that this displays more confidence.

  • Using long, convoluted sentences. Alphas keep it short and to the point. If you're tempted to use long sentences,break them up.