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Sound More Confident by Avoiding These Phrases

Here’s one: “Sorry,” often used as “Sorry to bother you, but …” If you often offer an unnecessary apology, it makes you sound somewhat timid.

NEW YORK – Certain words and phrases may undermine your authority and professionalism. recently spotlighted some of these common “apprehensive phrases” that make you sound less confident to the ears of current or potential customers. Here are a few:


“When we introduce our questions and ideas with this four-letter word – ‘I’m just following up,’ ‘Just wanted to add...’ – the undertone is one of apology,” writes Sarah Showfety. “It’s a subtle preemptive excuse for potentially disturbing someone. It minimizes our power, and sounds as if we’re asking for permission to speak – something confident speakers rarely do.”

“Sorry (to bother you…)”

There’s no need to apologize: “Sorry if this has been said before …” “Sorry for venting …” or even to co-workers: “Sorry, can you tell me how much this is?”

Those who apologize needlessly appear more timid, according to Canadian sociologist Maja Jovanovic. Replace “sorry” with “I’d like to add …” or “why don’t we try this” or “thank you.”

“Does that make sense?” or “Do you know what I’m saying?”

“If we think we’re rambling or don’t have the words to clearly convey our point, there are a few solid alternatives, Showfety writes. These phrases make it sound as if you’re looking for external validation or insecurely wondering if you sound confusing.

Instead, try “Let me rephrase that,” Showfety says, or “There’s a lot I’d like to say about this,” or “This is a new idea for me.”

Source: “Drop These Phrases From Your Vocabulary If You Want to Sound More Confident,” (Sept. 23, 2021)

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