Some people are born with confidence, while others have to practice to gain confidence over time. What if I told you removing four words from your vocabulary could instantly make you sound more confident. It’s true!
The Four Words You Should Stop Saying Right Now to Sound More Confident
Here they are in no particular order:
- Kind of/Sort of: It either is, or it isn’t.
- Literally: This word has become the new “like” and it’s often used incorrectly.
- You Know: Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. Never assume.
- Just: A permission word that has become popular with professional women who are trying to be polite, but come off sounding weak. Strike it from your vocabulary NOW. You’ll send a stronger, clearer message.
These four words, or short phrases, are what I call “filler words.” They are words people would likely not use when writing out their thoughts but are often way overused in conversation.
Have you ever listened to someone being interviewed on television who is considered an expert in their field, but they constantly user filler words? The point they are trying to make starts to take too long. You lose faith in what they are trying to convey because they don’t sound confident.
This happens to me a lot in the business world. I listen to a salesperson trying to pitch me on a service they want me to buy. Or I may hear one of my team members trying to explain their work on a project or hoping to convince me on why their idea will work. They use the above words to fill the space, usually because they are trying to gather their thoughts, and I have to admit it really bothers me.
Instead of focusing on what they are trying to tell me, all I hear is:
“You know my product is kind of going to be literally the best thing for your business because it will improve your sales. I just want you to know because I didn’t want you to miss out.”
The truth is, if you stop using these words it will take less time to get to the point, you’ll sound more confident AND you’ll be more believable.
Let’s try that sentence above again:
“My product is going to be the best thing for your business because it will improve your sales. I want you to know because I didn’t want you to miss out.”
BOOM! A much shorter and stronger statement.
Three Ways to Avoid Using Filler Words
1.) First, you need to be aware you are saying them. You might think you’re not, but check yourself. How many times did you drop a “literally” today? Ask family, friends, and co-workers to let you know if and when you ever say these words.
2.) Now that you’re aware, it’s time to be very intentional. Slow down when you talk and really think about what it is you want to say. Practice before giving a pitch, presentation or asking someone for something. Taking a few minutes to prepare, even if you’re meeting with another co-worker, will help.
3.) Write out what you are going to say. As I mentioned, you most likely wouldn’t be using those words in written format, so it should be easy to eliminate them from your copy.
Once you start paying attention it will be very easy to stop saying these words and start sounding a lot more confident.