When you try to speak in a normal conversational speaking voice, you may notice that you automatically shift your speech in an open versus closed mouth and that it can even be related to other factors like gender, age, and so on.
Most people understand that one of the most important factors in how one speaks is how the mouth looks when it opens.
What you say reveals your personality
Many people aren’t aware that what they say can reveal a lot about the speaker’s personality.
For example, if you have a closed mouth, you are more likely to be a person who is decisive and willing to take risks.
People who have a much more open mouth are more likely to be timid or to make decisions based on other factors like relationships with other people and finances.
You may think that having a closed mouth indicates a closed mind, but you might find that you have no idea about who you really are or what you are like.
You may not even realize that you are an open or closed mouth speaker until you take the time to see what you say when you open your mouth and listen to what others say when they open theirs.
Speak with power
It is important to remember that confidence is not just about how you speak.
It also comes from how you speak. An open mouth communicates that you are very confident.
You may be quiet, but you may also be quite capable.
If you keep your mouth closed, you may also give the impression that you are not so confident or that you have something to hide.
Open mouth speakers are more likely to be in a position of authority or to be in a position of power.
You will probably not be in a position of power if you are overly self-critical.
Keep in mind that you may be more at risk of presenting a closed mouth in certain circumstances, such as when you are with your colleagues or at a conference.
When you open your mouth, however, you should be confident and well-presentable.
Take advantage of confidence when using a closed mouth
When speaking with a closed mouth, you should take advantage of it by being confident and relaxed.
Don’t talk in an overly nervous, uncertain tone. Keep your mouth open to give the impression that you are confident.
If you are trying to convey a positive, confident, or authoritative image, you may want to open your mouth more than you normally do.
There is a great psychological adage that states that your actions speak louder than your words.
In other words, if you open your mouth in a closed way, your actions will often do that job of communicating that you are confident.
When you open your mouth, you may even want to try your best to make it bigger, in the sense that it will look bigger in your mouth.
This will make you look taller. Again, this can create an impression of greater power or authority.
Words and expressions
One of the things that you can do is focus on your words when you open your mouth, rather than your facial expression.
By focusing on your words, you are more likely to convey a confident message.
If you are trying to convey a negative message, keep your mouth closed.
This will do a great deal to communicate that you are trying to be conveying a negative message.
Some of the things that you may want to focus on when you open your mouth are:
- Your posture
- Your facial expression
- Your gestures
When you open your mouth, you should make sure that all of your facial expressions are aligned. For example, don’t look away from your audience or your audience away from you.
At the same time, don’t make a big deal about your expressions or gestures. Keep it simple.
Additionally, you should make sure that your expression or gesture does not detract from the impact of your words.
This could be the case if you are trying to convey a very positive message or if you are trying to convey a very negative message.
So how can we boost our confidence in our speech?
First, we can increase our self-awareness. We can take the time to identify the feedback that we often receive about our speech.
For example, some people might point out that they find it hard to pronounce your last name.
If you are a man and this is the feedback you receive from people, it would be wise to work on pronouncing your name.
If you are a woman and this is the feedback you receive, you can also work on your pitch and enunciation.
Next, we can learn how to respond to these types of feedback.
It might help to think about the feedback that you receive and then respond with something like this:
Thank you for pointing out my mistakes, but I’ve corrected them. I now pronounce my name properly.
When we address these types of feedback, it lets people know that we’re aware of it and want to address it.
By being self-aware, we are not defensive when we respond to this type of feedback. We simply focus on fixing the problem instead of defending ourselves.
When we approach the feedback we receive with confidence, we can transform our perception of our speech and what people think about us. We can then communicate without the fear of being defensive.
It can also help to give feedback positively
For example, if you receive feedback that your voice is higher than what you’re used to, you can simply respond with:
Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve been working to lower my voice since I was a teenager.
In this way, you’re taking an action to address the feedback you receive. You’re focusing on improving instead of pointing out the flaws.
You are also making a positive statement about your ability to change and correct.
By giving and receiving feedback, we can become more confident with our speech and will be able to communicate our ideas without the fear of coming off as arrogant.