1. “I feel like…”
So you don’t know for sure? It’s simply how you “feel.” Don’t just feel it; know it (or don’t). Feelings are good, but when making a statement, stand firm on your thoughts.
Weak: “I feel like our company is not keeping up with the current trends in our industry.”
Strong: “Based on the current trends in our industry, our company is falling behind.”
2. “…and things like that”
Like what? If social media is good for connecting people, finding out information, and letting your voice be heard, what other things are “like that?” What’s like connecting people? Like finding information? Like advocating?
Weak: “People in today’s society use more than Facebook and Twitter to get their voices heard. Younger generations now use apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and things like that.”
Strong: “People in today’s society use more than Facebook and Twitter to get their voices heard. Younger generations turn to apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Periscope to express their thoughts and opinions on different issues.”
3. “It’s just…”
No, “it is,” or, “it isn’t.” Using the word ‘just’ lessens the importance of what you’re talking about, and also claims it only has one single quality. Because ‘just’ means that what you’re saying has no expanding abilities. If something is extraordinary, you wouldn’t say it’s “just extraordinary” because those words would contradict each other. ‘Just’ holds back, where a word like ‘extraordinary’ lets you expand.
Weak: “It’s just not the best way to utilize our time during this meeting.”
Strong: “This is not the best way to utilize our time in this meeting because we need to get work done.”
4. “In all honesty…”
You can replace this with similar phrases such as, “if I’m being honest here,” or “honestly speaking.” This phrase will make your audience question everything you have said up until that point. Understanding “honesty” is a powerful word doesn’t mean you should always use it to further a point you’re trying to make. When you speak, your audience comes in trusting you until you give them a reason not to. So instead of putting an emphasis on a statement by beginning it with “in all honesty…” use other power words/phrases such as “I firmly believe,” “the truth here is,” or “the reality is.”
Weak: “Look, in all honesty our company will not continue to grow if we continue going down this path.”
Strong: “The reality is that we need to make a change if we are going to continue to grow as a company.”