Do you ever feel like nobody takes you seriously? Could it be something you are doing or not doing right? Below are seven things you can do to increase your credibility, get people to take you more seriously and ensure you get treated with the respect you deserve.

1. Don’t Make Your Statements Sound Like Questions

It’s called upspeak, when trying to make a statement, you end up sounding like you are asking if your own statement is correct. Not only is it considered to be a sign of insecurity and emotional weakness, people notice it, and tend to treat what you say with less seriousness.

2. Don’t Just Speak– Tell Stories.

The most successful talks follow a magic formula — 75% stories and 25% data backing up those stories. Reason is because stories provide an emotional hook that help people remember what you said, and give you a platform for connecting your knowledge to the real world. Stories help people take you seriously because they demonstrate that you can apply what you know.

3. Encourage People To Talk About Themselves

We all know that everybody likes to talk about themselves. We also know that it’s good manners to make conversations about others too, not just ourselves. So, if you want people to pay attention to what you have to say, let them talk about themselves first. Once the conversation starts flowing and people start feeling connected to you, they are much more likely to take you and what you have to say seriously.

4. Do Your Homework

One of the best ways to get people to take you seriously is to be prepared and know what you are talking about. It doesn’t matter what it is, always take the time to prepare. Know what you want to say, be able to back up your opinions with data and be prepared to answer any thrown your way.

5. Stay Informed

Do whatever it takes to keep up with what’s going on in the world. It’s particularly important to stay abreast of trends in science and technology, especially as they relate to business. You don’t want to look like a deer in the headlights – that is surprised – when somebody starts talking about a certain matter.

6. Dress For Success

Fair or not, we judge people on their appearances every single day. And it happens so fast — in about a tenth of a millisecond that we don’t even realize we are doing it! If your appearance is sloppy, for example, people are likely to subconsciously conclude that your work will be sloppy too. Looking polished and well-groomed, on the other hand, creates the impression of responsibility and competence. So, show enough respect for yourself and make a substantial effort.

7. Be Confident But Not Too Confident

No one is going to have confidence in you until you have confidence in yourself. But you have to balance that confidence with a little humility. Truly confident people aren’t afraid to admit that they don’t know everything — it doesn’t make them feel threatened at all. In fact, the most confident people are eager to ask questions and learn. The best way to show your confidence is to own what you know and what you don’t.