How often do you use filler words or phrases that make you to appear little less confident than you really are? That turn you into more of a waffler than an orator?
Last month, just as the weather began to drift from shimmering summer bliss into colder, and the shorter days became more obvious, I began working with a bubbly young woman on her job application. During the preparation I needed to understand her employment history and her achievements so we could put together a compelling proposition.
It took a while to tease out the information and by the end of our sessions I was really impressed with what she had to offer. However, if you asked her about her background off the cuff would you be immediately impressed? I’m not sure. Here’s why.
Unfortunately when describing her work history, she consistently used the phrase sort of. When I asked her if she was responsible for training the team she said: “well sort of.” With further clarification I discovered that she had certainly played a key part; she was responsible for the entire training program for several people. There was no sort of about it.
She used sort of so often in our coaching sessions that I started calling it a swear word. It didn’t add anything to our conversations; it was her playing small. By using sort of she dilluted her involvement and her achievements.
Since our sessions I’ve been noticing how often sort of is rolled out. It’s common during podcasts, chat shows, articles and conversations. Does it ever add value?
Do you use it more that you realise? When don’t know what to say or to soften your message?
In a world full of multiple distractions, boredom can easily creep in. You can make your message matter by refraining from using words or phrases that don’t add to your message. Maybe and kind of are other examples to use sparingly.
You don’t sell you when you use filler words and phrases when speaking about what you can do for an employer or during casual networking conversations. Why would you want to dillute who you are and what you can do?
If it’s a confidence issue that’s something you need to work on. Try this simple exercise to build your confidence and be clear on what you’ve got to offer.
I advise clients when they’re writing their resume, that every word must count. It’s the same when you’re speaking about what you do and what you can offer. Every word counts and sort of is an extra phrase that doesn’t bring you great returns.
No more saying sort of. Either you did or you didn’t or you do or you don’t. Make this simple change and you’ll come across more succintly and confidently immediately!