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Avoid These Words and Become a Better Communicator

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"If you’re like, 'whatever,' and someone gives you a mean look, just remember it is what it is – certain sayings rub people the wrong way, you know?  Anyway, at the end of the day, who cares?"

Chances are, the above quotation annoyed you. If so, you’re hardly alone. According to a recent Marist Poll about the most annoying and clichéd words and phrases used in conversation, 47% of Americans found “whatever” to be the most annoying word. Other top annoying words and phrases included:

• You know (25% disliked)
• It is what it is (11%)
• Anyway (7%)
• At the end of the day (2%)

As is often the case, there were regional preferences. 55% of Midwesterners loathed “whatever,” but only 19% didn’t like hearing “you know.” Meanwhile only 35% of Northeasterners— channeling their inner valley girl—disliked “whatever,” and 32% didn’t like hearing “you know.”

Why is this important? For one thing, many of use us words such as these frequently in conversation, oftentimes without even realizing we do it. It’s an acceptable habit when talking with friends or family, but in a business setting when you want to try your hardest not to annoy those around you, fillers such as these can greatly diminish your ability to hold an audience’s (or interviewer’s) attention, make your point, be respected, and ultimately to communicate effectively. Especially in this economy, being an ineffective communicator can cost you and your business significantly.

To brush up on your communication skills and wow those around you, sign up now for “Commanding the Room,” a half-day presentation by Brad Karsh on powerful communication for every occasion on November 10th at the MCHC Conference Center in Chicago.

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