5 Speech Habits that Make You Sound Weak

don't be weak

5 Speech Habits that Make You Sound Weak


Don’t let your delivery get in the way of a powerful idea. If you have great ideas, make sure they sound just as great when you explain them as they did in your head.

We have identified 5 speech habits that can make even the best ideas sound weak.

1. Overexplaining

Make sure you can explain your ideas in just a few sentences. If it is absolutely necessary, give ONE example, then stop talking! Don’t mistake silence from your listeners as a request for more information. If your idea is great, it should not need much explaining. If your listeners have questions, they will ask. They cannot ask if you are still talking.

Solution: Say it once and stop!

2. Really, really emphasizing what you mean

It is very, very important that you do not overemphasize what you really, really believe to be true. Often, adding modifiers like very, really, extremely, and absolutely results in a weaker—not stronger—message. Doubling down on words like really and very makes your ideas sound twice as weak.

Solution: Drop the extra modifiers.

3. Asking if the listener sees what you mean

When you are the listener in a conversation or a meeting and you think you may have misunderstood something, it is usually a good idea to confirm your understanding. When you are the speaker, however, confirming the listener’s understanding makes you sound weak. Avoid asking your listeners questions such as “Does that make sense?” and “Do you see what I mean?” These questions reveal your doubt about your own ideas. If you do not believe in the power of your ideas, why should the listener?

Solution: Confirm as a listener, but not as a speaker.

4. Showing weakness with your body language

When you are delivering a powerful idea, you should be looking at the listener. You should not be looking at the ceiling or at the table. If your voice says “This is the best strategy” but your body language says “I am not sure if this is the best strategy,” which will your listeners believe?

Solution: Use your body language and eye contact to support your ideas.

5. Speaking in half-sentences

Never interrupt yourself. If you start a sentence, finish it. Don’t break off in the middle… I mean don’t start to say one… I mean make sure you complete all of your…

Solution: Complete all of your sentences.

If you eliminate these five bad habits, your delivery will be as powerful as your ideas, and your ideas will have more impact as a result.