Unconscious Use of These Speech Patterns Could Be Undermining You

We pick up language patterns from the people we live and work with. As a result, habits that lessen our credibility are hardly noticeable to our own ear. Good speaking skills aren’t just for the podium. The way we communicate, moment-to-moment, influences how people perceive us.

To become a more persuasive speaker, avoid repeatedly using the word “like,” filling silences with “UMM,” or starting nearly every sentence with “basically.” Don’t use long words when simple ones will do. Avoid prequalifying your statements with, “This may not be important but…” or “This is just my opinion, but…” Backing into comments gives people permission not to take your message seriously.

Don’t overuse words like “really,” or “extremely,” or habitually finish sentences with “right?” or “you know?” Once you start paying attention to your go-to speech patterns, you’ll be able to curb and modify them.