7 words you should ban from your professional vocabulary

Whether you’re a public relations professional updating your company’s blog, an administrative worker writing an email or a student finishing your thesis, your success depends on your ability to communicate clearly.

If you want to engage your audience and improve your communication skills, start by eliminating these words and phrases from your vocabulary.

  1. Like/Um/So…

“That is like, so great.”

Words like um, yeah, so, like and right are used to fill dead air or end sentences, but they’re not necessary. As a trademark of ‘teenage talk,’ these words detract from your professionalism and have no place in corporate communications.

Practise speaking without these words by videotaping or audio recording yourself and seeing which of these speech disfluencies you use. For the sentence above, “that is great” suffices.

  1. Just

The word just is rarely needed. It detracts from your credibility and confidence and removes the importance of your message.

Instead of saying that you are “just checking in,” say “I’m checking in on your progress” in your emails.

  1. Sorry

Save the sorry for when you mean it. Too often, we say sorry for things that don’t warrant an apology.

Don’t say “Sorry, I’m busy Monday.” Instead, offer a counterpoint and say, “Monday doesn’t work for me. How about Tuesday?”

  1. Honestly

The first rule in interview training is don’t use the word honestly. When you begin a sentence with honestly, as many job seekers do in interviews, it gives the impression that what you’ve said previously was dishonest.

The solution? Remove the word entirely.

  1. Hopefully

Rather than saying “hopefully you can respond to my email,” commit to results by saying “I will follow up with you next week”.

This will help you establish credibility in the workplace by showing you are an outcomes-focussed leader.

  1. Irregardless

Regardless of what you think, irregardless is not a word. Irregardless is used to say that you do not regard something but directly translates to “with regard.”

In today’s world where emotions are replaced with emojis and 300 million people strive to make their point in 140 or fewer characters, people don’t have the attention span to read more words than necessary. These seven words are a great place to start trimming the fat from your professional communication.