[Note: Last week, we said hello to Tessa Srebro, who has joined the Claxon team as an intern. This is the first of many posts she’ll be doing about language, words and how you can use them to make the world a better place. How confident is your writing?]
“Confidence equals success.”
“Be confident in your choices.”
“Confidence is sexy.”
We hear phrases like this all the time. There are countless self-help programs and written advice on how to build your self-confidence. I hear from friends, both men and women, that they want a partner who is confident. If you think about it, the same goes for the organizations we support. We are more likely to trust an organization that appears confident. Who wants to support an organization that sounds like they don’t have confidence in their programs and their ability to produce results?
We, as humans, are drawn to confidence. It doesn’t only manifest itself in the way a person speaks or carries themself. In this world where our first contact with others is likely to be through websites, blogs, LinkedIn profiles, etc., it is important to convey confidence in the way you write, as well.
Here are a few ways to convey confidence in your writing:
1. Action Verbs = More Powerful Statements.
Which sounds more confident?
a. XYZ Organization is eradicating poverty by XYZ methods.
b. XYZ Organization eradicates poverty by XYZ methods.
Eliminate “to be” verbs such as “is” as much as possible!
2. Stay clear of wishy-washy extra words.
Your organization doesn’t “attempt to make change”, you “make change”! You aren’t “working to fight injustice”, you are “fighting injustice!”
3. Make your personality evident.
There are few things that show more confidence than being proud of what you are, and letting your supporters see that. Are you and your co-workers a little quirky? Embrace that. Don’t shield your personality behind a layer of status-quo, overused language.
4. Take chances.
Part of having confidence is not being afraid of failure. If you find that something isn’t working, simply make an adjustment. The more often you fail, the less scary it becomes.
So get out there, get writing, and let your confidence shine!