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Master Your Professional English: Tips to Avoid Bad Speech Habits

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Do you want to sound more professional and confident when speaking English in a work setting? Whether you're a native or non-native English speaker, you may unknowingly have some bad speech habits that make you seem insecure or less knowledgeable. In this article, we'll discuss tips on how to avoid these habits and improve your communication skills. We'll also hear some advice from professional communication coach Alex Lyon.


1. Don't be verbose

Being concise is crucial in professional communication. Eliminate words that don't add meaning to your sentences and avoid using phrases like "due to the fact that," "in the event of," "for the purpose of," and "the fact that." Replace these with simpler alternatives like "because," "if," and "to."


2. Avoid using filler words

Filler words like "kind of," "like," "you know," and "sort of" don't contribute any meaning and make you sound less certain. Limit your use of filler words, especially in professional settings.


3. Take a silent breath or pause

Instead of using filler words or unnecessary phrases, practice taking a silent breath or pause between sentences. This will help you sound more confident and give you time to think about what you want to say next.


Learn from Alex Lyon's tips:

  • Avoid side particles: Words like "basically," "technically," "actually," and "essentially" are often used habitually and don't add value to your message. Limit your use of these words to avoid sounding repetitive or unprofessional.

  • Avoid disclaimers: Disclaimers are statements that diminish the value of your message, making it sound less certain or meaningful. Examples include "This may sound like a silly idea, but…" and "You've probably already thought of this." Instead, express your point of view without qualifications.

  • Replace filler words with a pause: When you catch yourself using filler words or unnecessary phrases, stop and say "pause" or "period" out loud. Eventually, you'll learn to say it in your head, resulting in clear, confident communication.

4. Keep studying English vocabulary

Having a strong vocabulary will enable you to express your ideas more concisely and effectively. Continue learning new words and phrases to improve your professional communication skills.


By following these tips and practicing regularly, you'll be well on your way to mastering professional English and avoiding bad speech habits. Remember, clear and concise communication is key to success in any professional environment.



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