Communication is key. We know it’s true, and we know it’s important in business – but do we really take the time to think about the things we say to our clients and audience? Better yet, do we think about what it means to sound confident in business, or the implications of not?
It may be a tough pill to swallow, but we would argue that your own self image is a direct reflection of how your audience perceives and views your business – and the biggest way this translates is through your messaging and communication. The good news? Sometimes all that needs changing is your choice of words!
Here are four common phrases/words to stop using immediately in order to sound more confident:
There’s no way the word “just?” can be that harmful, right? After all… it’s just a four letter word. Wrong!
By nature, the word “just” devalues whatever words follow it. It minimizes the importance of whatever you are saying or asking and thus, its impact.
Often subconsciously, using the word “just” is a way to seem less confrontational and more polite, so we don’t sound like we are overexaggerating the importance of our concern to the subject. The implications? Well, your concern must not be that important then!
So, instead of emailing a client “I’m just reaching out to ask…” or “Just wondering what you think about…”, try to reevaluate your sentences, your messaging, and your self-confidence.
2.) "IF THAT MAKES SENSE"
The consequences of this one should be obvious – and as business owners, we cringe anytime we see someone else using this phrase in reference to their own brand. By asking if an explanation or statement you’ve made “makes sense”, you weaken your credibility in showing explicit self doubt.
Simply put, this remark stands as a negative testament to your expertise and value. You are the face of your brand – it is crucial that you show up confidently in your knowledge and understanding of what it is you offer. If your audience is struggling to understand your message - let THEM communicate that to you. And trust us, they will. But if you plant that seed of doubt before they even have a chance? They might not bother with your business at all.
The reflex to apologize for any minor error or misunderstanding is a hard one to shake – but it’s well worth it to curb the way it will hurt your business in the meantime.
Unless you really mean it and they stand for good reason, serial apologies are quick to reveal your self doubt and position you and your business as beginners in your field. Worse yet, obsessively saying “sorry” waters down your sincere apologies to clients and businesses when it matters most. If you struggle particularly with this, search for the word “sorry” in any digital communication before sending it, and remove any use of it that isn’t absolutely necessary.
4.) "THIS MIGHT SOUND STUPID, BUT..."
Ok, listen up. As a business owner and expert in your niche, you should never believe that ANYTHING that comes out of your mouth is stupid.
Not only is this negative self-talk alone a huge turn away for prospective clients, but it acts as a double edged sword – if whatever sentiment you are about to share is held similarly by your audience or the subject of your message, you inadvertently put them down as well. Yikes.
Need more guidance in communicating your value with confidence? Learn how to clarify your brand's messaging and communicate your value in a powerful one-liner using the Mint Marketing Method.