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Small Word Changes Yield Big Payoffs!

grammarWhen if comes to appearing competent, articulate and qualified, small changes in the way you speak can boost your potential for business success.  Speaking well may influence the listener on whether or not he or she wants to pursue a business relationship with you.  Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. He did good.  vs. He did well.
  2. Where is she at? vs. Where is she?
  3. This is the woman that live in Canada.  vs. This is the woman who lived in Canada.
  4. There’s six agenda itmes to discuss. vs. There are six agenda items to discuss.

From the Articulate Executive: Learn to Look, Act and Sound Like a A Leader by Granville Toogood.

I have also found the following words are easily confused:

lay vs. lie

few vs. less

who vs. whom

affect vs. effect

We are all guilty of making wrong word choices and to some people it won’t matter a bit.  To others, however, it will matter a lot.  It is important to consider the audience to whom you are speaking and adapt or be more intentional with certain audiences and situations.

Recently, I gave a presentation on my Step-by-Step Makeover topic and a man approached me after the program and told me that I said “do-do!”   I couldn’t quite figure out what he was saying and with my apparent blank stare he explained,

“You said, ‘Sometimes we do do the same habits again and again.’ ”

I was embarrassed! But I wasn’t really sure at the time whether or not that was wrong or not.  I went back to the office to research it and disovered that it isn’t necessary to use both, “Sometimes we do the same habits over and over.”  But for emphatic emphasis, it is ok, “Sometimes we DO do…”  But when in doubt leave it out and rephrase the statement.

Using grammatically correct sentences will give you a professional edge. You will have the appearance of competence and even being more trustworthy.

 

 

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About the Author Lynda Stucky

Lynda Stucky coaches mid-senior level executives on using their speech and voice effectively to establish credibility, position themselves within their company, and enhance their reputation as a topic authority. She provides training through one-on-one coaching and online courses to reduce foreign accents, “redd-up” regional accents, and teach speech and voice branding for image control. She is President of ClearlySpeaking, and is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She is the author of "Voice Branding for Executives: How to Align Your Speech, Language, and Voice Skills with Your Professional Goals." Her background in speech pathology offers unique skills for dealing with professional communication skills in the corporate world. She believes communication skills should not hold anyone back from achieving personal and professional goals.

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