Public Speaking & Writing: How to Expand & Impact your Audience-Part 2 (Words to Avoid)

Why to Choose your Words Mindfully

You have a very important message you get across.  You’re a leader.  There are people waiting to hear from you.  These are people who are ready to change themselves, a system, or some component of their personal or work-related life or both.   Yet they need you to show them how.  You have the information, the experience, the vision.  Here is how to successfully communicate it to them.

Ways to Use these Word Strategies

These strategies are effective for both speaking your information and writing your information.  Realize that it will be easiest to practice this in writing than in speech. The reason for this is that the components of speaking and writing are different.  More time is allowed for language formulation when writing.  When you get really good at this in writing, you’ll have an easier time transitioning to effectively using these strategies in speaking.

How these Strategies Work

The purpose of the following examples and word replacements is to help you convey your message much more clearly to your audience.  The examples provide a word to avoid and a word to replace the avoided word.    Remember, your audience can be one person or a hundred or more people.  They can be listening to you speak or processing what you’re writing.

2 Words to Avoid and their Replacements

Word #1 (Although)

AVOID: Although

Benefit: Avoiding the use of the word “although” forces you to break your one long sentence into two simpler sentences.  The pause after “however” catches the listener’s attention.

Original Example: Although many service providers know their subject well, they have a hard time conveying it.

Replace with: However

New example: Many service providers know their subject well.  However, they have a hard time conveying it.

Word #2: To (verb)

AVOID: To (verb)

Benefit: To (verb) is more passive.  When you use active verb forms, you bring your audience into your experience more directly.

Original Example: You have the power in the word combinations you choose to either hasten the learning rate of your audience members or to prolong it.

New example: You have power in the word combinations you choose.  You can either hasten the learning rate of your audience members or prolong it.


Your spoken and written words are critical to leaving your audience with every bit of your information (and YOU) that you want them to remember.  To catch the listener’s attention, pause after using the word “however” as a replacement for “although”.  Replace “to (verb)” with the verb itself to engage your audience more fully.

To your communication excellence,



SangitaMay 14th, 2014 at 10:53 am

Wow, power of words 🙂 How it changes its frequency just by replacing another word. Thank you Cher for sharing.

TeenaMay 14th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Cher – This information is very helpful and interesting to ponder, once again a big Thank You for sharing your wisdom!


Christine SullivanMay 14th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Wonderful Cher, thank you for this. It is interesting that we don’t always realize how important word choice is. Your blog points out that just a minor tweak can really make a difference in how we are viewed and how professional we appear.

Dorothy FitzerMay 14th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Hey Teena – great tips. You’re right – those sentences would be much easier to follow. In this world of way too much info, making things simpler to follow is a great idea;)

Dorothy FitzerMay 14th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Oops – writing too fast – I meant Cher;) Had just looked up and saw Teena’s comment. I guess I need to slow down my writing as well as my speaking;)

Tina GamesMay 14th, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Very interesting post, Cher! ~ I agree about the word “to.” I had to wrestle with my editors over that one (during a book project four years ago). They kept wanting to add “to” to several of my more conversational sentences. I ended up giving in – despite not agreeing. And still to this day, when I read parts of that book, I cringe.

Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 9:55 am

Tina, thank you for pointing out your own personal experience with use of the word “to”. Can I ask what it was that caused them to make that suggestion?


Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 9:58 am

Dorothy, yes-the less the brain has to process, the quicker the ability to absorb the information and apply it, provided the content and organization is sound.


marthaMay 15th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Love these Tips Cher and the examples are great. Thank you for your expertise!

Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 6:59 pm


You’re very welcome 🙂


Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 7:02 pm


You’re so welcome.


Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I’m sorry I spelled your name wrong on my last reply Teena.

Cher GundersonMay 15th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Sangita, you’re very welcome. I like how you have phrased it that the wording changes the frequency 🙂

KerryMay 18th, 2014 at 11:18 pm

I am loving these tips as I am speaking more now…thank you so much Cher!!! You are awesome!

Cher GundersonMay 23rd, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Kerry, thank you so much. You are a rock-star out there in the public eye… Keep shining!


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