Sounding smart is always a top goal when you're speaking. This is true whether you’re giving a lecture or engaging in conversation with others.
For many, the first thing they look for is intelligence to establish credibility. As you talk, you want to be sure that you sound eloquent and smart.
We all possess intelligence and learning how to speak more eloquently helps you to share that intelligence. Let's learn how in this article.
5 Ways To Speak More Eloquently & With Intelligence
As you imagine how to speak intelligently, it's a great idea to think of your favorite speakers. Odds are, they speak with wisdom, charisma, and authority. But where does this energy come from? And how can you channel it?
When you think of how to be smart in talking, you've got many options. Some depend on the subject at hand. But you always need to know your material well, and you need to be confident in your delivery. When you accomplish this, you'll soon be sounding smart, no matter your subject.
With this in mind, we've got five powerful tips to offer. These are how to be smart in talking, and you can apply them in moments. They're used by the best speakers to communicate more eloquently. Let's dive in, and learn how to speak intelligently with five quick tips:
1. Use Statistics to Back Your Points
You may already sound intelligent and offer a powerful delivery. But without data to back up your key points, you’re unlikely to impress a smart audience. You’re not the only one that should be talking as you speak. Your data should, too. This means including plenty of supporting statistics to accompany what you're saying.
As you work out how to be smart in talking, statistics are your friend. They're a powerful tool, especially when used as visual aids. Reciting off long lists of numbers and facts isn't a good conversational technique. Statistics should be shared in the background, and with illustrations whenever you can.
The advantages here are numerous. In a study by Accuconference, 60% of listeners recall visual content after three days. Strip visuals from your spoken presentation, and retention collapses to 10%!
This is a powerful reminder of the value of statistics in speaking. Consider the following advantages:
- You boost your credibility. By adding data, you can add veracity to what you're saying. By introducing evidence to support what you're saying, listeners can be sure that you're being open and honest with them.
- You introduce visuals. Visual aids break up the monotony of spoken words. Plus, they're proven to aid with audience and listener retention, as we saw above. They add interest and creative styling as you speak.
- You bring ideas to life. Statistics and data deliver real-world examples. A meaningful statistic is the perfect companion to an idea or suggestion that you make.
Whenever you wonder how to speak more eloquently, use statistics to get a boost right away.
2. Work to Reduce Filler Words
Um. Well. Like. Let’s face it. We all slip these words into our speech every day. But as you work on how to sound smart, they become a big barrier. These words convey hesitation and a lack of clarity whenever you use them in your speech.
But filler words can be very difficult to avoid because many of us have them ingrained in our verbal habits. They can suggest that you've got a limited grasp of your subject matter. Or they can make you seem nervous and lacking confidence. Even if you’re not, the message may still be the same!
Thus, it’s vitally important to reduce the use of filler words in order to speak more eloquently.
Fortunately, there are several techniques that you can use to avoid filler words. Learn how to sound smart by saying less, not more. Filler words are a big part of how to be smart in talking:
- Don’t feel the need to fill every silence. Using silence is a tactic of many great public speakers. Pause for emphasis, and don't feel the need to fill each second with a spoken word. Unless you're saying something constructive, go silent for a moment. Listeners can use the time to absorb your key points. Plus, silences are an ideal transition between subjects.
- Outline in advance. Filler words often emerge from a lack of clarity about what you're saying. Outline your remarks in advance to stay on track. This way, you won't be scrambling to bridge gaps in front of an audience.
- Record yourself speaking. Try listening to recordings of yourself speaking. Chances are, you'll identify filler words that you may use without even noticing. Listening to audio boosts your awareness and tells you words to remove from your speech.
- Speak slower and more deliberately. In doing so, you can stay more focused and aware of what you're saying. You won't become distracted or lose track of your progress through your message.
Embrace these tactics and you'll sound smarter and more eloquent in no time.
3. Practice Your Delivery
Ever heard it said that practice makes perfect? The phrase was tailor-made for speaking! There's no substitute for plenty of practice before you give a speech or presentation. This helps you refine your message, whether you practice alone or with an audience.
Begin by outlining what you want to say. There's no need to get overly detailed, but mapping out a course helps you stay focused and on track. Otherwise, you may forget key details, or spend too much time on unimportant items.
By practicing, you can focus on the strengths of your prepared delivery. Hone in strong points to ensure they're impactful, helping an audience remember them.
Similarly, you can work on weaker portions of your spoken narrative. Practicing helps smooth over rough patches, ensuring that you make a great impression.
When you speak, first practice on your own. This gives you a feel for the pace and timing of your speech. Remember, you'll likely have a time allotment. And even if you don't, rambling on for too long is a sure way to lose listeners' attention.
Then, move into practicing with a small group of friends. This helps you get a feel for how your delivery will be received by others. Plus, it can help settle your nerves! A group of friends or peers is an excellent source of feedback, which you can then use to improve your spoken words.
4. Use Stories and Draw on Personal Experience
Speaking when done well embraces the human element. A wooden, impersonal delivery won't win you many fans in an audience. As you think about how to speak intelligently, be sure to use stories and personal experiences as part of speaking.
Let's look at both of these categories to see their key benefits:
- Stories. Think of these in terms of anecdotes or human-interest scenarios. They're a good icebreaker when you first begin talking to an audience.
- Personal experiences. These are like stories, but they really help you establish your credentials. You can use them to explain how you're qualified to speak on a topic. Share personal experiences to note how you put your expertise into action.
Audiences will appreciate how you've practiced what you're speaking about. They'll realize that you're well-qualified to speak on the topic at hand. And finally, they might be entertained!
Sharing stories and experiences helps you capture the interest and focus of listeners. After all, it's you that's speaking. Share something about yourself along the way. You’ll come across as both proficient and engaging.
5. Admit When You Don’t Know (Or You’re Wrong)
None of us is always right. We all make mistakes, and no one knows everything. It’s important to remember these basic rules as a part of eloquent speaking.
After all, humility is a key part of intelligence! Admitting that you’re wrong, or that you don’t know something, may actually win you points with listeners. In any case, giving wrong information or arguing about being wrong won’t gain you anything.
If you find yourself speaking and don't know the answer to a question, try the following:
- Admit that you don't know. Never try to circle around the point or pretend to know something that you don't. There's no shame in not knowing something if you're open and honest about it.
- Engage. Maybe someone in your audience is willing and able to help out with their own expertise.
- Promise to follow up. A phrase like "I don't know, but I'll find out and let you know what I discover," helps you keep things moving while promising to connect later.
And sometimes, you may find that you've said something that's incorrect. Here:
- Be honest and forward about your mistake. Mention what you said and correct it with the proper information. Or follow the tip above and promise to find the right answer at an early opportunity.
- Remember that intelligence can mean changing your mind. If you say something wrong, treat it as a learning opportunity. After all, knowledge is a big part of intelligence.
As you can see, it's easy to learn how to speak more eloquently. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to becoming an excellent speaker!
The Top Source for Public Speaking PowerPoint Presentation Templates (Unlimited Use Included)
When you think of how to sound smart, think of premium PowerPoint templates as your best friend. These are powerful visual aids that help you make a great impression. The best source for these is Envato Elements, the top resource for creatives today.
Elements is a powerhouse creative website with a winning offer: unlimited downloads. For a low, monthly rate you get unlimited download access to thousands of custom PPT templates. Each of these can be a great companion as you speak. As a member, you’ll enjoy unlimited stock photos, custom fonts, and more.
Sounding smart means communicating clearly. And visual aids are a top way to do exactly that. Consider the benefits of a premium PPT template from Envato Elements:
- Expertly-designed layouts. You'll enjoy slide designs built by creative pros. These help you impress your audience with your presentation smarts.
- They’re packed with visuals. From photos to infographics, premium slides help you bring your message to life. They save you time. You won’t waste hours building slide designs from scratch. Now, you can spend more time refining your message and practicing for delivery to an audience.
As you can see, premium templates are the best way to help give more eloquent speeches. Join Envato Elements today and start downloading your favorite designs!
Now You Know the Secrets to Sounding Smart
The point of learning how to sound smart is to give your ideas a chance to succeed. Your listener will first vet your reliability, then decide if they agree. So, it's crucial to practice how to speak more eloquently.
Remember: there are tried-and-true techniques for how to be smart in talking. Start practicing the idea for sounding smart with the very next person you meet.
Editorial Note: This content was originally published in July 2022. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.