Cash for Communication Clunkers?

The government is going to pay you to get rid of outdated cars and trade-up to a more efficient vehicle. Sweet.

What if you applied that same reasoning to your presentations?

What communication clunkers would you get rid of? What are some of the outdated and ineffective words or phrases you use? Trade them in for more efficient patterns or eliminate them all together.

If you want to keep your presentations at an executive level, here are a few suggestions for phrases that belong in the junk heap:

Communication Clunkers

1. "I'd like to talk about..."
Why waste your listeners' time by announcing, "I'd like to talk about X" or "I'd like to tell you about X" ? Why not just talk about it!

2. "I think..."
Not a very leader-like subject and verb combination. It shows indecision. By virtue of the fact that you have a functioning brain, you do think! Why announce it? Do you ever hear leaders say, "I think I have a vision" or "I think we will make our quarterly numbers"? Throw this one in the trash. Apologies to Descartes.

3. "To make a long story short." So, do you really want to announce that you tell long (and probably boring) stories? Worse yet, you're telling the audience I'm cheating you out of some information. Just tell your story!

4. "To be perfectly honest."
Right. So, you haven't been honest previously?

5. "I know you've probably heard this before.
" Then why are you wasting my time telling me again?

6. "What I'm trying to say is..."
Don't even hesitate, just open the trash bin and toss this.

7. "Just."
Ok, if you are a judge in a courtroom, you CAN use the term "just," but for executive speakers it demeans your executive presence. Do you really want to say, "I just thought..."?

8. "I like to take a few minutes."
Great. Now you're announcing that you are a time thief.

9. "In my opinion," or "It seems to me."
Of course it's your opinion, isn't that what you've been expressing all your life? If not, then you should announce, "In Jane's opinion..."

10. "A great many people have said
..." Hmmm. So why are you repeating what so many others have already told us?

Rethink your own vocabulary or better yet ask a friend to monitor your presentations for these "clunker" phrases and trash them! Then you'll have your own Presentation Stimulus Pan!