Using this Four-Letter Word will Squash your Leadership Image and Make Your Public Speaking Less Effective

Using this Four-Letter Word will Squash your Leadership Image and Make Your Public Speaking Less Effective

By Elizabeth Peterson, M.A.,CCC-SLP

Excerpt from, How to Speak like a Broadcaster and Lead like a CEO

www.SpeechAndVoice.com

         What could this 4 letter word be?

  • Can you guess?
  • It is used both verbally and in writing
  • It’s frequently heard during public speaking and presentations

The word is “just”. Yes that is correct. It’s a strange filler word people use to perhaps sound nicer, not bossy or intrusive. Let’s compare:

  • I just need to talk to you.
  • I need to talk to you

Can you see how the word, “just” minimizes your positioning?

  • I’m just following up to confirm…
  • I’m following up to confirm….

When the word is removed, the statement is stronger, direct and sounds confident. Determine if this is word that you insert in your messages. If so, remove it and see how that feels. Check your verbal and written language and remove this term that minimizes your leadership image. There is a place for this term when you want to sound alarming. “Just 3 More Days”, that is often used in sales. For professional communication or public speaking, just remove the word “just” and you will be perceived as confident and strong.

Homework: Determine if and how much you use this term.

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Speech and Voice - Elizabeth Peterson


Elizabeth Peterson, Denver’s leading speech therapist and executive speech coach for over 22 years and is the author of Accent Reduction 101, Third Edition 2017 and Speak Like a Broadcaster & Lead Like a CEO, Third Edition 2017 . Learn More

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Elizabeth Peterson M.A., CCC-SLP Speech Therapist

Speech Therapist & Executive Speech Coach for over 22 years
Licensed speech therapist in the State of Colorado
Certified with the American Speech Language Hearing Association
CSHA, Colorado Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationASHA, American Speech-Language Hearing Association