3 Ways to Easily Close Deals with Confidence.

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Ditch the hedges and use concrete language.

Today we continue with the theme of communication…Let’s talk about confidence.

What a great topic. I mean who doesn’t want to sound and be more confident? 

Do you think there’s someone out there right now staring back into the mirror saying: “I’m too confident. I need to pump the breaks.” 

No one is saying that. 

Feeling confident, and portraying confidence is not only good for your overall well-being. It’s good for business. 

And in this post. I’m going to share with you some ways YOU can sound more confident. 

Class is about to begin… let’s roll. 

Speaking With Confidence

We’ve all seen speakers that walk on stage and just slay it. 

The words, just flow. And from the very moment they start to speak, you’re hooked. (By the way, here’s the link to the 20 most-watched TED Talks, check it out.)

What’s the secret? 

It’s having a British accent.  I’m kidding. But it does help 😉

The truth is, there are no secrets. 

Great speakers, like great athletes, put in the reps

Arguably one of the greatest speakers of the last century, Winston Churchill would write every speech himself, usually by dictating to a secretary and then revising on a typed copy. 

He would then ask his team to present the words on the page in the style of a poem, with staggered lines and breaks in the text (referred to by others as “psalm style”), so he could see at a glance where to pause, hesitate or add emphasis when delivering the lines. 

Churchill was a relentless reviser of his speeches — as he was with his books, making numerous drafts up until the very last minute — editing and adjusting until the speech had just the right punch. 

Even the great Steve Jobs was fanatical about practicing and rehearsing for a big presentation. 

According to Ken Kocienda, a software engineer on the original iPhone, and iPad, and author of the book Creative Selection, Jobs would begin practicing 3-4 weeks ahead of the scheduled date. 

And he would work continually honing every line, every slide, every gesture. 

So, you see — even the greats put in the work. 

What are the tactics you can use to sound more confident? 

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Ok, enough about great orators — let’s talk about what YOU can do. And supplying us with these insights is Jonah Berger.

Jonah’s latest book, Magic Words provides some great insights into how to sound more confident. 

And the good news: 

You’re going to be able to start rolling with these today. 

Step 1: Ditch the Hedges

Often when we’re talking to friends and family, we use words like: 

  • May/might
  • I think 
  • Maybe
  • Seems
  • About
  • Generally
  • Probably
  • Around, as in: I’ve had this for around three years

These are all hedge words. And we use them out of habit. Or when we don’t want to come across as a know it all. Or a mix of both. 

And while that’s not a problem when you’re talking with your aunt or your mom…

If you’re using these words with prospects, you’re sending “signals of uncertainty.” And this could be hurting your business.  


Because you are putting doubts in the mind of your client. 

Add a few hedges up over the course of a 15-minute conversation and that could mean getting the business or being told, “Let me think about it.” 

In a study done by Berger and one of his colleagues, he asked a group how likely they were to follow someone’s advice. 

What they found is those who added hedge words to their advice made those listening feel less sure and less likely to buy a recommended product. 

Pause here. 

Note: the addition of hedge words suggests the person is uncertain about their advice or solution. 

And if you’re sounding uncertain when you’re talking with clients, you’re putting business in jeopardy. So, ditch the hedges. 

Instead, use concrete words: 

  • Definitely
  • Clearly
  • Absolutely
  • Every time 
  • Guaranteed

These words send a different signal. They scream confidence. The speaker now sounds 110% sure of whatever they are talking about. 

This makes the listener more likely to follow their suggestion!

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Step 2: Kill Filler Words

Nearly all of us use them. 

Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re using them. 

But filler words are a killer. 

What are filler words? 

Words like “uh,” “umm,” “er,” or even the annoying “ya know.” 

Like I said, everyone uses them and in small dosages… they’re harmless. But they can quickly become annoying and can reduce the confidence others have in you. 

Many of us have seen speakers with this verbal tic. Where every few seconds there’s another “um.” 

After just a few minutes the tendency is to tune out. And all the focus goes toward the tic vs. the message. 

So, what can be done?

Berger suggests pausing. 

Instead of filling the space with words, let a brief moment of silence exist. 

Berger writes, “Pausing led speakers to be perceived more positively. It not only gave the audience time to process what was said, it also encouraged them to respond with short verbal indicators of agreement which led them to like the speaker overall.” 

Step 3: Make the Pasts, Presents

This is so good. 

In Magic Words, Berger and his colleague were interested in whether verb tense could impact persuasion. That is, whether a shift from the past to the present might make people more willing to go along. 

For this study, they reviewed thousands of customer reviews across a wide variety of categories. Books, music, consumer electronics, food, and even destinations. 

And no matter the product line, present tense boosted impact!

The reason…

Present tense makes the speaker or the review sound more confident and assured. 

Using the past doesn’t sound as confident. It sends a signal that it was good at a given moment in time. It puts a shred of doubt into the listener’s mind… it was good but that doesn’t guarantee it will still be good. 

Present tense suggests, according to Berger, “something more general and enduring.” 

In other words, if something is good it will still be good. And therefore, listeners are more persuaded to take a look. 

So next time you’re providing recommendations on getaways, think present and watch as more customers flock your way!


  • That destination has the best beach. 
  • That restaurant is outstanding. 
  • __________________ destination is amazing.

Three simple ways to sound more confident and become more persuasive. 

And like the great Vince Lombardi once said: 

Confidence is contagious and so is a lack of confidence, and a customer will  recognize both.

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