4 speaking habits you need to ditch

People draw conclusions about your competence and professionalism from the way you speak, so make sure these four things don’t come out of your mouth.

  1. “Just.” “Just” statements, such as “I’m just wondering ...” and “I just thought   ...,” decrease your power and the effectiveness of what follows.
  2.  “Actually.” “Actually” statements, such as “I actually have an idea ...” and “I’d actually like to ask a question ...,” make it sound as though you’re surprised to have a contribution.
  3. “I’ll take just a minute.” This sounds apologetic and makes you sound like you don’t think you’re worthy of people’s time and consideration.
  4. Raising the pitch of your voice at the end of a sentence. It makes it sound like you’re asking a question and aren’t sure of yourself.

— Adapted from “How to Kill Your Inner Valley Girl,” Vivia Chen, The Careerist.