Interpersonal Communication, Communicating with Confidence

Key points of the article

  • Advantage and elements of confident communication
  • Trust, credibility, and communicating confidently
  • Confident communication behavior

One of people's primary needs is to socially interact by interpersonal communications, whether through media such as E Mail, telephones or face to face. Building healthy and productive relationships allows people to work more effectively and gain more satisfaction from life. However, communicating well is a skill that requires learning and practice.

To communicate well both you and your listeners need to understand and trust one another. “Communication” is the transmission or sharing of ideas, thoughts or feelings between people and the verb “communicate”, which means to share or make common. 

All communication is a 2 way process. Interpersonal communication is: defined as:

  • Small number of participants
  • Face-to-face
  • Share information through words, sight and sound
  • Participants are able to give immediate feedback

A quality interpersonal communication has a crucial role to play in the success of any organization. The impact of effective communication in an organization includes:

  • Organizational success
  • Effective decision making
  • Resolving problems
  • Building healthy and productive relationships
  • Overall effectiveness

Good communication skills and confidence go hand in hand. As your confidence rises, your communication skill improves. So, many of the techniques for developing confidence play a significant role in interpersonal communication. 

This article covers several areas but it’ll help you become a more confident communicator.

  • Key elements for confident communication
  • Build trust, credibility and rapport
  • Prepare for communication
  • Use your voice confidently
  • Use body language to project confidence

Benefits of confidence communication

Most people say that with enough confidence you can achieve almost anything you want. But what people don’t often realize is that with practice and an understanding of how to build your communication skills, anyone can be an effective communicator and have strong self confidence. Communicating well is a way to build your own confidence and confidence of others in you.

Being confident gives you the ability to speak freely without fearing what others may think of you. It also helps you to reduce anxiety in others. When you are confident you listen better, because you are able to "understand or empathize" with what others are saying, creating an environment of trust and sincerity.  There is often a saying used "First seek to understand, then to be understood".  The essence of this statement is to be an effective listener first in any interpersonal communication.


  • More focused on what’s being communicated
  • More satisfying
  • More likely to achieve your goals
  • Contributes to the success of your organization

When speakers lack confidence, listening to them can increase negative feelings and you may miss the message they are trying to convey because your focus is on the person, not the message. 

Impacts to listeners when a speaker has low self confidence::

  • Harder to focus on information
  • Interactions are less satisfying
  • Less inclined to give what the speaker wants
  • Less likely to help organization succeed

Elements of confident communication

Low self-confidence can be attributed to many different factors, varying from situation to situation and person to person. For example, you may not feel confident because you are new to your position and don't have enough experience in customer relations.  Some of the major factors that affect confidence in most communication environments include:

  • How listeners feel (do they have other things going on in their life, are they distracted?)
  • Communication history (do you have a lot of experience in communicating with people?)
  • Speaker’s behavior (does the speaker have other things going on, is he/she distracted and cannot focus?)

Impacts of poor communication include:


  • Harder to focus on information
  • Interactions less satisfying
  • Less inclined to give what the speaker wants
  • Less likely to help organization succeed

Trust, credibility, and communicating confidently

Trust and credibility are closely related concepts but they are not identical. For example, “I trust you” because “you are credible to me”. Credibility is more rational, objective and fact based.  To create a confident communication, you need all of the 3 elements in place. If one is missing, your confidence would be impacted and information will not be effectively communicated. Additionally, it’s not possible to achieve credibility in the environment of low/no trust or vice verse.

Lack of confidence when communicating is a stressful problem, which can make it difficult for you to interact effectively with others. Although lack of confidence can manifest itself in a variety of ways, it’s usually caused by a feeling of fear. Anyone can become confident with practice once they understand how confidence is built. The key to building confidence is to earn trust of others, establishing your credibility, and carry yourself in a confident way. If you achieve there 3 goals, you can become a confident communicator.

Build trust environment

When you were not sure how much information you could share, when you were not sure who should trust or who trust you. Without trust, communicating is difficult. With trust, confident communicating is much easier. If you can build trust in interpersonal communication, each person is able to express themselves confidently. 

  • All parties must trust one another
  • Trust develops step by step over time: In order to build a high-trust environment, you should:
  1. Communicate productively
  2. Share information
  3. Be candid and truthful
  4. Accept constructive criticism
  5. Respect other parties’ needs and interests

Build credibility

Credibility can be negatively impacted if:

  • Not honest
  • Don't admit mistakes
  • Exaggerate
  • Your actions don't follow your words

Trust earns and protects credibility.


Increasing your trust and credibility can build strong rapport with people. Rapport, it’s a meaningful and harmonious relationship.  The more technical definition of rapport refers to a desired outcome for a conversation when using specific techniques for establishing harmony with others. The discussion of this understanding of rapport is beyond the scope of this article.

Through enhancing rapport in your relationship you will be better able to communicate confidently and influence others. By building trust, credibility and rapport you also help others communicate confidently with you. So, everyone in the relationship benefits.


The basic building block for confident communication is trust. You foster trust through specific behaviors such as being candid, admitting your errors, respecting others, and disclosing information freely. These trust-building behaviors contribute to your credibility as a communicator. Other factors that bolster credibility are your background, knowledge and how you project competence when you communicate.

By improving trust and credibility, you generate rapport between yourself and your audience. This process is ongoing, interdependent and fragile, so you need to be consistent. As rapport grows, you will gain confidence in yourself. Your audience will also gain confidence in you and will be more confident when talking to you.

Confident communication behavior

Preparing for confident communication, you can:

  • Develop your personal image: For instance, different clothes for different situations
  • Know what you want to say: You can ask yourself by following questions:

- Why do I want to say this?
- What would interest my listener?
- How clear is my argument?
- Have I provided examples or evidence to support my main ideas?

  • Address fears and self-talk:

- Consider preparing for the worst
- Be kind to yourself

Using your voice with confidence makes your experiences and audiences much more pleasurable. The critical areas for confident vocalization focus on:

  • Inflection
  • Volume
  • Tone
  • Speed

Body language

Confident communication relies on your body, like:

  • Posture
    If your posture is rigid and tense you communicate insecurity or anxiety. If you slouch, you convey a lack of interest in your audience.
  • Eye contact
    Avoiding eye contact can cause you to miss important responses from your listeners, distances you from them, and conveys a lack of self-confidence. But excessive eye contact or staring is considered rude. It makes others uncomfortable and they may interpret it as aggression.
  • Gestures and facial expressions
    Although smiling is often a sign of confidence, smiles should not be forced or used in serious moments in a conversation. Overusing gestures is distracting if you don’t move at all you’ll appear tense. It’s important to find an appropriate balance.

It’s important to stay in touch with your thoughts and feelings while you are communicating. Worrying or criticizing yourself reduces your confidence and your ability to communicate. When you notice negative thoughts, replace them with positive and encouraging thoughts. Encouraging thoughts support you in your task and give you the confidence you need to succeed. You need to focus on the present to avoid worrying. When you set your worries aside and think about what you are doing now, your mind can concentrate on your present task.

It’s helpful to pay attention to how your body feels. If your heart beat is high, your stomach is queasy or you feel tension in your muscles, you are probably feeling anxious. By focusing on your breathing and consciously relaxing your muscles, you can calm yourself.


When preparing to communicate, you need to ensure that your appearance profiles the image that you want it to. You should be clear about what you want to say, why you want to say it and who your audience is. You should also prevent negative self-talk and ease your anxiety by ensuring you’re prepared for the worst possible outcome, so you know you’ll be able to handle this.

To use your voice confidently, take note of how you use inflections, tone, volume and speed. Confident body language includes alert and relaxed posture and good eye contact. You should use spontaneous and open gestures to add meaning to your message and ensure your facial expressions match the content of your message.