Seven Deadly Words

These Seven Words Will Kill Your Credibility

Even a few slip-ups can make the most successful person seem like a fool. If you're Elon Musk, you get a Youtube remix of your mistakes but for the rest of us we'll get a silent judgement as people ignore us for a more "interesting" (read: charismatic) person.

Here are seven words to remove from your vocabulary immediately.

1. Sure

I was at Starbucks preparing to write this article and the man in front of me ordered a Capuccino. The barista misunderstand and asked "caffe latte?" He hesitated and replied "sure."

Everyone can get 80% of a task right. Memorable people understand the final 20% and those are the people that earn respect, responsibility and relationships. The final 20% is the details - the minutia - the expertise. "Sure" means "I don't accept responsibility for the details."

"Sure" means "I want to say 'No' but I'm afraid to say it." He wanted a Capuccino but he got a Latte and to anyone watching we subconsciously demote him on the rank of "leadership" because if he can't even order a coffee, how can he take on serious responsibility?

Train yourself to respect the details by replacing "sure" with "yes!" or "no!"

2. Just

You just have to fix your vocabulary and you'll be charismatic!

"Just" means it's easy. "Just" means if you don't get it, there's something wrong with you - or at least that's how the listener feels. If it was that easy - we don't need you to explain it to us! And if it's actually hard, we feel stupid for not already knowing it.

Resolve this problem by taking out these filler words. "You just put the cake in the oven" becomes "Put the cake in the oven."

Similar words to avoid are "simply" and "basically." Only use just if it implies something just happened for example "I just took the cake out of the oven."

3. Ummmmm

Umm means "vagina" in Turkish. It also makes you sound unsure, weak and uncredible. Replace your "umms" with silence. Remain calm, think about what you want to say and say it!

4. Very

I love you very, very much.

I love you.

Which is more powerful? Which do you believe? "Very" is a word we use to mask our emotions. When we use "very" we emphasis it. "I love you very much." This allows us to mask the emotion of love.

There are many reasons to mask the emotion, the most common being we're not comfortable with our own emotions. However to the other person it is often interpreted as disingenuous. Let the power of the statement live on its own. Don't hedge it with filler words like "very" or "really." State yourself and let it stand.

5. Sorry

If you didn't violate your integrity, don't say sorry. "We made 50% ROI last term, sorry 40%." Sorry implies a deep mess-up. Sorry implies I violated my character. However misspeaking is not a character violation. Rather say "rather." "We made 50% ROI last quarter, rather 40%."

P.S. If you do something that violates your integrity and hurts someone - apologize! That's the time to say sorry!

6. Honestly

Why we say it: We gave a prepared speech. It was polished, shiny and inspirational. Now it's time for Q/A and we want to appear more human. "Honestly, that research hasn't been done yet."

How it comes off: So you're saying the rest of your speech wasn't honest???

How to fix it: Use "frankly" or "candidly" instead to invoke a sense of intimacy with the audience because you're being vulnerable. "Frankly, we haven't completed that research yet. That's a great question, if you give me your email I'll send you a link when we're done."

7. Yes

Replace "Yes" with "Hell Yes!" If I don't enthusiastically want something, it's a No! Hey, Pete do you want to train this group of 8-year olds? "Hell, Yes." Hey, Pete do you want to train this group of 14 year-olds. "Hell, No." A "No" to someone else is a "Yes" to yourself and the truth about communication, relationships and success is we want the real, complete you. If you are sacrificing your "No" to please others and avoid conflict, you will forever be stuck at the bottom of the pyramid, with the other people that want to play nice and just do what the bosses tell you. Success lay in taking responsibility for the 20% that no one else wants to bother with. Those are the details that make you you. And the truth is, those details make you vulnerable. They're not always pretty but they are the details that bring you respect, responsibility and relationships. Find the 20% that makes you you by only saying "NO!" or "HELL YES!

Conversation Charisma, continues on Mondays with speech structure and an introduction to our sixth sense - "awareness". Conversation Charisma is the combination of public speaking and improvisation skills that makes up 95% of your daily interaction - 1-to-1 conversations. Available as a public course, small group or individual sessions, register here!

Like what you read? Starting a revolution requires coffee. Starbucks Venti Americano to be precise. Every cup helps whether it's one for $2.50, or ten for $25

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