A benefit to being “brief” is not treating people like you’re holding them captive.

There are verbal “red flags” to avoid if you want to consistently be brief and more captivating. When you find yourself saying any or all of them, you are running the risk of not only losing people but also ruining your reputation. Try to eliminate these three catch phrases:

1. “And another thing”

This small statement makes a big impact- it makes it impossible for people to finish. It is something said in meetings that makes them drag on. A good speaker should know their material well enough to get to the point and know when they’ve made it.

A great speaker knows when to stop talking. These three little words often ruin that.

2. “I’m just thinking out loud”

Though this is occasionally good for brainstorms or creative discussions, this comment opens a floodgate of disorganized digressive that confuses far more it clarifies. For efficiency’s sake, refrain from saying what you’re thinking until you’ve mentally organized it into a coherent thought that gets to the point.

3. “To make a long story, longer”

At this point, the horse is dead and everyone is begging for the blah, blah, blah to finally end. This kind of phrase will make everyone in the room roll their eyes. A story should have a beginning, middle, and end- as a speaker, give the audience finality.

When you avoid these treacherous sayings, you stop holding your audience captive and start to actually captivate them.

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