Avoid phrases that undermine your credibility

phrases that undermine your credibilityLast week Amy Beth shared a tip for appearing more confident, which increases your audience’s trust in you. On Nitpickers’ Nook, we’ve talked about how ceasing to use an uncertain inflection can also increase people’s confidence in your words, as can eliminating certain “non-words” from your vocabulary. I’m back to share another tip for maintaining your credibility as a speaker and as an expert in your field. This one is a little counterintuitive though: Don’t stress your honesty or truthfulness.

You might think that referring to yourself or your message as “honest” would help your credibility, but when you use phrases such as “Let me be honest with you” or “To be perfectly honest,” you are suggesting that whatever you said prior to that phrase wasn’t completely true or forthright. That’s never the message you want to convey. If you want to emphasize the importance of your next point, replace the problematic phrase with something like “The most important thing I want you to remember is …” or “I want to stress this because it’s so important …”

What other words or phrases have you found that undermine a speaker’s credibility?

[Image Source: Juliana Coutinho]


One response to “Avoid phrases that undermine your credibility

  1. Pingback: Trust me! 7 ways to build your credibility | Workplace Survival

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