Career Communication

Success Starts with Word Power

Learn five weak words to remove to strengthen your word power.

word power

Today we’ll talk about how to improve your vocabulary and word power! You’ll learn 5 weak words to remove if you want to strengthen your messages so that you’re sharpening your word power for all situations.

Warren Buffet said there’s one easy way to increase your worth by “at least” 50%- if you focus on learning to write and speak clearly.

This blog post is best digested in 3 parts:

  1. Check the word power strategies (below)
  2. Watch the vlog
  3. If you want to enhance your word power and improve your vocabulary to sound like an industry leader, enrol in my mini-course, which fuels vocabulary growth fast.

5 Words to Delete

 

Every time we share a message (written or spoken), our listener needs to use energy to tune into it. The weaker your words are, the more effort, time and brain power it will take for your conversation partner to buy into your ideas. When we listen to people talking, our brains are burning energy. Since, in effect, your conversation partner is burning calories to listen to you – doesn’t it make sense to give them the words that conserve their energy and keep them inspired?

If you want to stand out in work conversations and job interviews so that your listeners give you a chance and take your ideas on board, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the best words up your sleeve.

Some words and phrases will hijack your chance to create an engaging and compelling message. It’s all about flexing your vocabulary. You want to stretch the limits and start incorporating new words that catch attention and keep your listener tuned in.

Today we’ll go through 5 words that you can delete from your speaking. These words reduce your persuasive impact (Nguyen, 2021). Now the tips I’m sharing will apply as much to speaking as writing, so let’s get into it with the first word we need to renovate!

word power

#1 REALLY

Using “really” constantly in your speaking and writing can signal that your vocabulary is weak. 

We use the word really to add emphasis, but it’s a lazy way to emphasise a topic. 

Instead of using the word really, you want to focus on finding a specific term that captures your message precisely.

Let’s look at how three sentences improve when we remove “really.”

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

I really want to improve my leadership skills

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

I’m compelled to improve my leadership skills

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

I really love chocolate.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

I adore chocolate.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

You did a really good job with that project brief.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

You did an impeccable job with that project brief.

#2 LIKE

 

Using the word like is nearly always redundant. 

If you notice that your sentences are full of the filler, like as in this example:

I am like frustrated about this.

it’s time to delete this word. Neutral and repetitive words reduce your message relevance (Fields, 2016) and word power. If you work to improve your vocabulary you’ll become less reliant on words such as “like.”

#3 VERY

 

Very is another tell-tale sign that your vocabulary needs work.

Let’s look at how 3 sentences improve when we remove “very.”

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

He’s very annoying.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

He’s obnoxious.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

The design is very elegant.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

The design is refined.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

Our service is very precise.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

Our service is meticulous.

We don’t have time for wasted words when they can change our career potential.

Using more complex words will make your message more charismatic (Rosenberg, 2009)
Words like “sort of”, “just”, “kind of,” “the thing is”, “to be honest”, and even “I think” reduce your persuasive impact (Nguyen, 2021)- improve your vocabulary, and you’ll harvest increased influence.

You’ll increase your emotional agility if you can be more precise when describing emotions with your vocabulary (David, 2016).

This is why I’ve created a process that connects the complex research around vocabulary growth with simple daily activities you can do, no matter how busy you are, to get concrete results in your speaking.

Check out the Trello Vocabulary Wonderboard and finally put the words buried deep in your brain to work! This on demand workshop will train you to amplify your vocabulary and word power to sound like an industry leader.

📣 7 days from now you’ll be sounding more intelligent and interesting… with only 5 minutes of speaking practice per day.

If you’re mumbling and stumbling through conversations, presentations, or even emails, you need a structured system to improve your vocabulary.

The solution is to strengthen the neural pathway between word storage and retrieval.

Meet the Trello Vocabulary Wonderboard!

vocabulary workshop

Access a science-backed system to improve your vocabulary that strengthens the memory networks you need to retrieve and recall impactful words for speaking and writing.

#4 THIS IS

 

When we start a sentence with “This is”, we lose the opportunity to share the crux of our message. Starting our sentence with “this” creates an unclear reference that can distract the listener from the topic at hand. Check the example below.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

This is a problem that is affecting team KPIs. They need more training.

Notice how unspecific the sentence is? We can cut to the chase faster if we remove “this” and replace it with sharper detail. 

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

Insufficient sales skill is affecting team KPIs. They need more training.

Remember, the more neutral words you use, the less relevant your message will be.
When you specify exactly what or who “this” is, your delivery will focus on the topic faster, making the discussion clearer for your listeners.

word power

#5 I THINK

 

“I think” is another tired phrase. You can empower your message by replacing “I think” with words that better showcase your expertise when sharing information.

Let’s look at how 3 sentences improve when we replace “I think.”

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

I think we enhance the customer experience to build positive word of mouth.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

I propose we enhance the customer experience to build positive word of mouth.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

I think Peter could be nominated as a strong candidate for the new leadership position.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

I nominate Peter as a strong candidate for the new leadership position.

🔴 WEAK SENTENCE

I think the core goal should be building staff retention to protect our growth.

🟢 STRONG SENTENCE

If we focus on staff retention strategy we can protect our growth.

Remember, effective communication at work is all about overcoming barriers to your impact- and a boring and repetitive vocabulary can be one of them.

You can sound like an industry leader at work by working on your vocabulary for just 5 minutes a day – all it takes is using a science-backed system to strengthen memory networks for new words that gets you using them.

A strong speaking vocabulary isn’t determined by our academic qualifications. I’ve worked with clients who didn’t finish high school and seen outcomes that would give a top CEO a run for their dictionary! Even I can vouch that multiple degrees, including academic studies in English Literature and Speech Pathology, didn’t enable me to access the best words I need to position my message as an industry leader.

If you’re mumbling and stumbling through conversations, presentations, or even emails, you need a structured system to build up your word power.

Looking to grow your vocabulary to deliver stand out messages, feel more confident expressing yourself and cull unnecessary fillers?
My vocabulary workshop will help you.

Sara Geiger

communication consultant

Did you enjoy this post? Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get more content to increase your communication skills!

References

  • Abrams, L & Davis, D. (2016). The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: Who, what, and why. 10.1075/z.200. 

  • German, D. (2020). Asha.org. Retrieved 21 April 2020, from https://www.asha.org/Events/convention/handouts/2007/1366_German_Diane_J/. 

  • Hofferberth, N. (2011). The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: Search strategy and resolution during word finding difficulties. Isca-speech.org. 

About the Author

Sara Geiger is a Keynote Speaker, Executive Speaking Coach, and Opera Singer who likes to play with words, sounds, and your impact. 

Her academic background is in Music Performance, Communication Science and Speech & Language Pathology. She’s currently completing a PhD in Opera Performance.

Connect with Sara on LinkedIn.

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