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Want to sound more confident? Avoid these 11 words and phrases that make you look ‘weak,’ say grammar experts

By | Kathy | Ross Petras |

In such a competitive world, the last thing you need to do is undercut yourself. But that’s what a lot of us are doing when we communicate in ways that make us sound less confident, less determined, and less sure of ourselves.

But there’s an effective solution: Swap out weak words and phrases for ones that will make you come across as more professional and capable.

Here’s what psychologists, linguists, recruiters and CEOs say you should avoid using if you want to get ahead, along with simple replacements that will make a big difference in how you are perceived:

1. “Does that make sense?”

What to say instead: “What are your thoughts?” or “I’d like your input on this.”

If you ask “Does that make any sense?” after you’ve finished sharing a thought, you’re immediately giving the impression that you’re not convinced yourself, that your idea might be incomplete.

Rather than seeking validation or approval, you should be asking the listener or reader for their opinions on your idea.

2. “Maybe we should try …”

What to say instead: “Let’s try…” or “It’s a good idea to try…”

Up until the mid-19th century, “maybe” was written as two words — “may” and “be” — which makes it clear that it literally refers to something that might happen, but might not.

That’s pretty wishy-washy when you apply it to your own ideas or suggestions. Either you believe in what you’re talking about, or you don’t. 

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