Put Some PUNCH in Your Professional Vocabulary

2687dc3959a7f5ecbe554ab2fe7e9e63Everything is about how you word it. Vocabulary makes impressions and makes pace. It gets you going and keeps your audience involved and on the same page. Therefore, it’s important to know what key words and phrases can be modified to step up your game and sound professional.


We often incorporate words and phrases into our professional conversations that hold us back. It’s okay to be assertive and confident in your speech! It’s not like you’re going to be telling your boss “NO, this is how I WANT it done”. But “I think” instead of “I was just thinking about maybe…” gives you an edge that’s worth taking seriously.

So, by the courtesy of Forbes, here are the words that you’ve got to get a handle on:


This word minimizes the power of your statements and sounds tentative all-together. Your sentences don’t need it. Just get rid of it.

“I’m no expert, but…” “I’m not sure what you think, but…”

I get it, you don’t want to sound pushy or arrogant or overly bossy but sometimes that what needs to be said. You’re not an expert and maybe you’re not entirely sure but your ideas do matter. These qualifiers just make you look a little unqualified at times.

“I can’t”

There’s that passive voice taking away your control over statements! “I won’t” is an ACTIVE STRONG statement. Of course, this can be iffy. There are times when you can’t do things that you would be willing to do if you could. Forbes says that asserting boundaries and taking ownership really does pay off in the end, giving you a better work life balance.

“What if we tried…?”

This phrase is inviting people to disagree with you. It’s better to be direct with a “I believe we should try” or “I have an idea to try…”

“That is like, so great!” and “Thanks!!” and really anything else that makes you sound like you’re a teenager.

This is self-explanatory. It’s great to be friendly and have fun with your coworkers when you’re close but also don’t forget your audience. I would hate to email my bosses boss like: My god, that’s so awesome!

Other than that –inserting my own two cents- just try to stay confident in your statements. Your opinions and ideas and contributions are important, and sometimes thinking that way can reward you with more professional opportunities! In my experience it’s best to handle every situation as calmly, collectively and confidently as possible, even if you’re a barista. People do take notice and really respond to a business presence!

Now go out, conquer the world with whit and powerful language!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.