We all want to become a better communicator, especially if you are a coach, public speaker, or anyone of influence.
Many people that are just starting out will often talk and retain their colloquial nature or style. In many regards this is wonderful as you may be able to relate with your audience better. However, there are some phrases many people use every day that just will not fit into your vocabulary as a person of influence. These phrases, however colloquial in nature, will steal from your credibility and could completely lose your potential followers or clients altogether.
1.) “Like” …
The first one is overusing the word “like”. When using this form of communication you lower your level of sophistication. It robs you of having credibility in your area of expertise. It causes your followers to feel you are not that knowledgeable in the area. Due to wanting to bond with your clients you are actually pushing them away.
The best alternative is just to drop the word completely and become more concise in your speech patterns.
2.) “Um, uh, ahs, you know” …
If you ever decided to join a Toastmasters organization and you begin to give talks there will be one designated person who will literally count the number of times you say these words. These words are pausing types of words that people tend to use to give their brain a little more time to become organized in what they will be saying next.
These words, especially if they become apparent to the audience, will cause the audience to begin to lose confidence in the speaker. When the speaker are saying these words this begins to show a lower level of expertise in the subject matter.
The best way to avoid these words in multi-fold. If you are giving an actual speech then you may need more practice and rehearse your talk more so that you can stay focused on what you are wanting to get across. Another way is to actually just to take in a deep breath and avoid saying the word altogether.
Practice makes perfect when avoiding these words. You may notice that after a few times giving a talk that the number of times you say these words diminish the more influence you will have when you are speaking.
3.) “but” …
This is a word that many people use in their everyday speech pattern that in most cases could be avoided altogether. This word is overused when expressing an idea and in many times lessens what the speaker is wanting to get across. It may seem logical and correct for the speaker to say this word, yet the listener will frequently get the exact opposite message.
If a person were to say, “I really like your outfit Susan, but …” what is the speaker and the listener conveying in this message? The speaker is probably wanting to say something nice before saying something not so nice. However, the listener is hearing the nice thing and then after the “but” word is now feeling rejected which they may then feel why did you say the opening phrase at all.
In my opinion, it is to avoid this word as much as possible and only use it deliberately and sparingly. By doing this will mean that the speaker can be more concise and clear in his or her communication and delivery of their message.
As you become more aware of your communication patterns you will become a lot better in your ways of influencing other people as well as truly getting your message across.