sound confident when write

Most of us were raised to believe that arrogance is a bad thing. And it is – no one wants to hire an arrogant person. But what happens when you bend over backwards to avoid sounding arrogant when you write? You don’t sound confident either. And that’s a problem. Most people don’t want to work with someone who’s arrogant, but they also don’t want to put their money on someone who doesn’t seem confident. So before you write your next blog post, report, essay, or manuscript, check out these 7 ways to sound confident when you write:

Want to come across as confident and competent in your emails? Download our free cheat sheet on 7 words to avoid and alternatives to use instead.

1. Don’t Use Long Words

If you’re like a lot of people, you might try to sound confident when you write by using long words and complex phrases. This can look something like this:

  • “We will make a selection about the most appropriate method for the implementation of the program.”

Many readers see right through this. Why? Because intelligent people don’t use long words and complex sentences. They use simple language and short sentences. There’s even scientific evidence to show that readers think a writer is less intelligent when that writer uses complex words. So if you want to showcase your intelligence and sound confident when you write, write short, simple sentences. As Jeff Goins says, “If you are smart, people will pick up on it. No need to try and prove it to them.”

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentence above:

  • “We will select the best way to implement the program.”

2. Ditch Hedge Words

If you take a look at your writing, you might find a lot of sentences that look like this:

  • “This may possibly be a good strategy for potentially increasing awareness of your brand.”

Imagine that you own a brand and you’ve hired another company to help you with your social media strategy. What would you think if they used the sentence above to describe their proposed strategy for boosting your game on social media? Would you feel confident about working with them? Probably not. Why? Because this sentence is full of hedge words.

Hedge words are words that you use when you’re not ready to fully commit to something you’ve said or argued. See “may,” “possibly,” and “potentially” in the sentence above. Hedge words make your statements seem tentative. They also make you sound less confident about what you’re saying.

In some cases (e.g., when thinking about the possible causes of a scientific phenomenon), you do need to be somewhat tentative when you write. In most cases, though, you should be confident enough to stand behind your statements if you’re going to put them out there.

Make yourself sound confident when you write by ditching those hedge words. After all, people don’t want to pay for something that may possibly be a good way to potentially increase awareness of their brand. They want to put their money on something that is a good way to boost awareness of their brand.

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentence above:

  • “This is a good strategy for increasing awareness of your brand.” (Notice how it’s shorter too!)

3. Steer Clear of Buzzwords

Some people use buzzwords when they write to make it seem like they know what they’re talking about. If you’re guilty of this, you might have a habit of writing sentences like this:

  • “Thought leadership is just one of the six core competencies participants will learn in this workshop.

Why do buzzwords make you seem like an amateur? Because they show people that you need to use vague, overused terms and phrases to communicate (instead of your own words). Want to sound confident when you write? Bulldoze the buzzwords right out of your sentences and use your own words to explain what you really mean.

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentence above:

  • “You’ll learn 6 key skills in this workshop, including how to be influential.”

4. Banish “Actually”

“Actually” is becoming the new “literally” and “basically,” words that end up in sentences where they aren’t needed and don’t belong. If you’re sick of seeing people shamelessly throw “actually” into every other sentence they write, you’ve got to practice what you preach by avoiding sentences like this:

  • “He actually got some promising results with our recent campaign.”

Imagine that “he” is your client and your brand set up the ad campaign for him. By including “actually” in the sentence, you’re saying that you didn’t expect your campaign to work (which doesn’t make you look good). Of course, there may be times when something truly was unexpected and “actually” is an appropriate word to use. But if you don’t need it, leave it out. You’ll sound confident when you write if you do.

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentence above:

  • “He got some promising results with our recent campaign.”

5. Stop making everything personal

There’s a time and place for being personal. It works if you’re telling a story in a blog post or using a personal example in a presentation. But it doesn’t work when you’re writing about something other than your life. In other words, stop tacking “I think” and “I believe” onto your sentences. Sentences like this don’t help you sound confident when you write:

  • “I think we should have checked the layout again before sending it for print.”

What’s wrong with using “I think” and “I believe”? They make you sound like you’re stating something that’s just an opinion and not an argument that’s backed by facts. And what does that do? It gives people a chance to dismiss what you say. Sound confident when you write by leaving “I think” and “I believe” out of your sentences. Stand by your thoughts and statements. If you don’t, no one else will.

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentence above:

  • “We should have checked the layout again before sending it for print.”

6. Don’t discount your expertise

One of the easiest ways to cast yourself as an amateur instead of an expert is to tell people that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Take a look at these sentences:

  • “I’m still trying to figure out if this makes sense, but the analytics I’ve been tracking for the past year show that we should revisit our pay-per-click ad strategy.”
  • “I’m not really sure, but I think we should take a different approach with this project.”

What’s wrong with these sentences? They give readers an excuse for writing you off as someone who doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about. These words don’t make you sound confident when you write, so why should people believe that you’re confident about what you’re saying?

Own your ideas by removing qualifying phrases that discount your expertise. You’re a smart cookie, so make people see it!

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentences above:

  • “The analytics I’ve been tracking for the past year show that we should revisit our pay-per-click ad strategy.”
  • “We should take a different approach with this project.”

7. Get rid of “really” and “very”

You might be used to using “really” and “very” to add emphasis or express intensity. Take a look at these examples:

  • “More than 90% of our customers got really good results with this product.”
  • “It’s very hard to set up a custom website if you don’t have a background in programming.”

The problem with “really” and “very” is that they act like crutches to prop up weak words (e.g., “good” and “hard.”). Instead of taking the easy way out and using dull, weak words to express your thoughts, use powerful words (e.g., “excellent” and “challenging”) that strengthen your sentences and engage your reader. Sound confident when you write by using strong words that more precisely express what you’re trying to say.

How to Use This Tip to Sound Confident When You Write

Here’s an example of how to apply this tip to the sentences above:

  • “More than 90% of our customers got excellent results with this product.”
  • “It is challenging to set up a custom website if you don’t have a background in programming.”

Take Baby Steps to Sound Confident When You Write

If you’re used to using words that soften the impact of your writing, it might feel uncomfortable (and even downright scary) to stop using them. But remember that by keeping them in, you may be hurting instead of helping yourself. Instead of not seeming arrogant, you might come across as someone who’s incompetent and lacks confidence.

Show people that you have the expertise and confidence to stand behind what you say. Sound confident when you write by writing loudly and clearly instead of hiding behind hedges, weak words, and phrases that qualify your competence.

You don’t need to transform your writing overnight. You’ll be taking a step in the right direction even if you need to start with baby steps. But don’t make confident writing a back-burner goal for years to come. The workplace is a competitive world. If you give people a reason to doubt your abilities, you can’t blame them if they leave you behind.

Want to come across as confident and competent in your emails? Download our free cheat sheet on 7 words to avoid and alternatives to use instead.

Click here to download




7 simple ways to sound confident when you write + email cheat sheet
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6 thoughts on “7 simple ways to sound confident when you write + email cheat sheet

    • February 15, 2018 at 5:10 pm
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      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  • December 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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    These are great tips and will certainly help me with my blog posts. Thanks!

    Reply
    • January 3, 2018 at 9:36 am
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      Hi Craig,

      I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Good luck with your blog posts!

      Reply
  • December 14, 2016 at 5:44 pm
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    Mash Allah beta you are doing fine do you know in your circle who can write a movie script from story lines ,non professional student in script writing ,as it will not be a paid job
    Daddu

    Reply
    • December 14, 2016 at 9:30 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks, Daddu! I don’t know any students who write scripts, but Saad might.

      Reply

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