Language Resolutions for 2013

WORDSMITH BOOK-002It’s a new year, and many of us are promising  ourselves we’ll quit smoking, lose weight, be more organized at work and at home, or attain some other form of perfection.

As Toastmasters, we should add one more resolution: In 2013, we’ll watch what we say.

Better yet, we’ll listen to what we say.

Listen for empty words and phrases that slow down our message and do as much damage as a string of “uh,” er” and “so.”

  • “I would like to (say, thank, mention, whatever).” We would like to give you permission to just go ahead and say it without a wind-up.
  • Could you please . . .?” Could you please just ask straight out? “Please tell us the winners.”
  • “Personally, I think . . .” It’s unnecessary to point out that it’s your opinion.
  • “Why not (insert suggestion here)? Your listener can probably think of many reasons not to do whatever you’re suggesting. Why not just say it?

Let’s also resolve to reject these lazy words that add nothing:

  • Nice
  • Fun
  • Very
  • Really
  • Great

Like those abs you may have resolved to tone up this year, language is a muscle you have to exercise if you want to get it in shape.  Make Toastmasters your language-fitness center, where the trainers don’t yell at you and you can work out without breaking a sweat.

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