November 29, 2018 | Barb Carr

Career Development Tip: Seven Days of Weak Words Makes One Week (Weak)

Editor’s note: This article is reprinted by permission of its author, Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP,  Mr. Phipps is an attitude amplifying keynote speaker, author and corporate trainer.  As owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, his company specializes in professional development presentations and products to improve work attitudes, motivation, communication, leadership, and conflict resolution. The National Speakers Association has distinguished Vincent with the industry’s highest earned honor, the CSP, Certified Speaking Professional.  Vincent is also ranked in the top 1% of the world’s best professional speakers and trainers. We have been privileged to have him speak at the TapRooT® Summit. Learn more at

Seven Days of Weak Words Makes One Week (Weak)

We are always public speaking!  When we update our teams, when we offer solutions, when we negotiate, when we interview, and even when we leave voicemails, we are constantly sending messages throughout public speaking and presentation skills.

Approximately 9% of our communication is impacted by only our words. We must be accountable for when we fail to effectively present our ideas.  Behavioral science tells us that 88% of the American population will pass judgment on you within a few seconds of your initial appearance.  When we begin speaking; our vernacular, articulation, and vocabulary either confirms or counters those immediate assumptions.

Increase your awareness of how these words can negatively impact your professionalism and consider the suggested alternatives.



Over dramatizes your point.


Remove the “actually” and say exactly what was done or said.


Instead of saying: I actually wrote them a letter.

Say this: I wrote them a letter.



Plants elements of what is excluded.



Say exactly what occurred.


Instead of saying: Basically, I told her what I disliked.

Say this: I told her working from home can help single parents.

I am indifferent Makes you seem indecisive. Decide with validation.


Instead of saying: I don’t care if we leave in the a.m. or p.m.

Say this: Let’s leave in the morning to enable us to arrive sooner.

Pretty much Sounds like a soft, “yes”. Say yes or no.  State what quantifiable information is needed.


Instead of saying: We are pretty much finished.  We just need to…

Say this: Once we email each client with an invoice, we are finished.

Just saying… Criticizes without solutions. Give a recommendation, offer an alternative, or share a resolution.


Instead of saying, “This sounds expensive, just saying.

Say this, “A new one is $500 over budget.  Can we buy one used?

This week, avoid terms that make you sound weak!

Career Development & Opportunities
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