Confidence in Your Future Coaching


Challenge: I am absolutely qualified?

One of the most mind blowing discoveries was when I found out about upspeak (also known as uptalk). Oh, you also haven't ever heard of this? Allow me to explain. 

Upspeak is where declarative sentences end with a rising-pitch intonation. In other words, sentences that are not questions are said like questions? You say things out loud and at the end your voice goes up? When it isn't appropriate? (Watch this quick video to hear an example.)

When I learned about this phenomenon it was a serious game changer. I was just beginning to step into the power of what I was saying, focusing on the content and quality of my conversations only to be shook to my core about the fact that it didn't matter what I was saying because I was presenting myself so poorly.

Everything I said was already in question because I was expressing to others that they should question what I was saying. From introducing myself to sharing my opinion, I started noticing it happening all. the. time. Not just in the way I was speaking but in the way others were speaking around me. Some academic researchers have linked rising intonation to a speaker’s sense of inferiority. "If you uptalk often, then you will give the impression at the conscious and unconscious level of your audience that you are not sure of what you are talking about." (read article

In many cases, it is a technique used to be sure that the listener is understanding your point. It allows the person speaking to declare something softly, and to express to those listening that they are somewhat unsure or want to hear your opinion. Think of it this way, when writing a question in Spanish you use the upside question mark to indicate you are asking a question. That's what upspeak is. It is speaking with an upside down question mark, confusing your listener and showing them you are unsure.

Both men and women use this technique when having conversations and I have to tell you - once you notice it - you cant un-notice. 

This week, I challenge you to pay attention to the inflection in your voice in your everyday conversations and see how often you use this technique? (If you are brave, enlist the help of a friend and ask them to call you out on it while in a conversation so you can be sure you notice when you're doing it.) Then, once you've started to recognize your speech patterns, try to gain control over this habit. If you struggle because you find yourself doing it a lot, break it up into manageable sections. Start with one sentence a day and really focus on making it a statement. Maybe practice how you introduce yourself or re-tell a story when you catch yourself using upspeak.

Who here has caught themselves or others using this? What was your experience? Leave it in the comments below.