News That Means Business

July 30, 2014

Communicate with Confidence at Your Next Meeting

Words and Phrases to Make You and Your Messages More Powerful

“I think this new pricing strategy will double our sales by the end of the year.

“I believe this proposal represents our best course of action.

“I wonder if we should consider a new accounting firm.

You hear statements like the above in every business meeting you attend. You may likely be guilty of saying them yourself. The first two words in each sentence above cut the power from everything that follows them. Thinking and believing are fine, but they lack the sense of conviction needed to communicate with confidence. And “I wonder…” is the weakest of all. Ideal for brainstorming sessions, wondering is best to leave out of other meetings.

Substitute these opening phrases for “think,” “believe” and “wonder”:

“I’m confident…”

“I’m convinced…”

“I’m certain…”

Simply beginning your statement with a strong verb makes it more persuasive, enabling you to communicate your ideas with confidence. After all,  if you’re “confident,” “convinced” and “certain” about something, your audience will likely be as well.

Don’t Minimize

Here are more frequent comments regularly heard in the conference room:

“I just want to offer this alternative solution.

“We might not get another opportunity like this one.

“Let’s try to launch this campaign by December 1.

Inserting “just” into any sentence immediately minimizes the message. Instead say, “Here’s an alternative solution.” You’ll be much more likely to command the attention of the room, communicate with confidence and win adherents to your plan. “Might” and “try” also undercut the weight of your words because they scream uncertainty. “We won’t get another opportunity…” and “Let’s launch…” say that you’re proposing something people can count on.

Questionable Questions

Why do we do this: Make a bold statement and then throw cold water on it by raising a doubt at its conclusion?

“This is the best proposal we’ve received, isn’t it?

“March 3 is the optimum time for this e-mail blast, don’t you think?

Make a mid-year resolution now never to shut down the power in your statements with a weak, unnecessary question tagging along at the end. Prove it to yourself. Repeat the sentences above but leave off the final questions. Now you’re talking – and communicating with confidence!


Established in 1980, Caryl Communications is one of the most successful public relations firms in New Jersey. Services have evolved with the public relations industry, and today Caryl Communications provides traditional and social media, Internet and email marketing as well as event planning and marketing consulting. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and sign up for our blog to stay connected.

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