Researchers believe that the earliest spoken language was Mayan, which was around seven thousand years ago.
Imagine, in 70 centuries we’ve progressed to: “…and I was like, really?”
Whether you are leading a team meeting, presenting to a prospective client or delivering a keynote speech to a global audience, verbal mistakes will undermine your credibility and distract from your message.
For credibility and influence, drop these phrases and verbal mistakes:
- “I’m confused,” or “I don’t get it.” Instead of putting all the responsibility on the other person, take co-ownership. Instead, say “Help me understand your position,” and remain open.
- “You know what I mean?” and “Does that make sense?” Asking for constant validation chips away at your command.
- “I was like…” or “She was like…” The word “like” is an unsophisticated set-up that gets in the way of your clarity and credibility.
- “Um, ah, uh, you know.” Watch out for over-use of filler words and practice pausing to counteract the clutter.
- “I’ve been too busy” or “I started writing an email and forgot to send it.” Excuses are unattractive. Say “I apologize for the inconvenience. You will have it by tomorrow.
- “Out-of-the-box thinking” should be retired. We can’t escape all the buzzword phrases, but ones like this have become boring.
- “You always…” Sweeping generalizations lack insight and get in the way of healthy dialogue. Be specific and avoid using vague blame tactics
- “I think we should kind of do it this way.” Tentative language waters down your presence as a confident communicator. Make a solid recommendation and own it.
- “I hate to say this, but..” and “John is a good person, but…” Don’t try to disguise criticism with a layer of caring, or say things that offer zero value.
- “Really?” is an all-purpose complaint that sounds like whining. Try making an interesting observation instead.
If you want to have more credibility and influence, be uh, like, you know—more intentional in your communication