17 phrases and words to cut from your speech
Your No. 1 priority as a speaker is to ensure that your audience receives your message loud and clear. Eliminate these wordy phrases and poor word choices, to add clarity to your speeches:
- And also. It’s usually redundant.
- And/or. Outside the legal world, the phrase is unnecessary. Use one word or the other.
- Basically, essentially and totally. Exclude them to tighten your phrases.
- Being that or being as. Those phrases are nonstandard substitutes for because.
- Considered to be. Eliminate the words to be, and your meaning will be clear and succinct.
- Due to the fact that. Convey your meaning with the simple word because.
- Each and every. Use one or the other, but not both.
- Equally as important. You can say equally important or as important as.
- Etc. That abbreviation conveys a hint of laziness, suggesting that you could provide more examples but you don’t want to bother.
- Firstly, secondly, thirdly. Number lists with first, second, third and so on, instead of using adverbial forms of the numbers.
- Get and got. Eliminate or replace those ugly and meaningless words whenever possible.
- Kind of or sort of. Those phrases sound fine in informal communications. But when you are giving formal presentations, use these substitutes: somewhat, rather or slightly.
- Lots or lots of. Avoid those colloquialisms in favor of many or much.
- Nature. Discussions of an urgent nature are really just urgent.
- Per. In legal jargon and technical specifications, per is acceptable. Elsewhere, use according to instead.
- Try. Never ask others to try to do something. Ask them to do it.
- Utilize. The word use is a better choice.
— Adapted from “Plague Words and Phrases,” Capital Community College, http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/plague.htm.
Source: American Speaker, www.AmericanSpeaker.com.
American Speaker is an easy-to-use electronic resource that gives you everything you need for preparing a top-notch speech. These monthly updates will give you all the techniques you’ll need for a successful presentation. Let’s take a look at a few now:
- Use body language to your advantage.
- Handle a heckler with poise and grace.
- Know the best one-liners that work like a charm.
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- Presenter’s Quick Tips.
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