How to Sound Confident By Deleting Two Words

How to Sound Confident By Deleting Two Words

I am talking with a friend who is giving me advice on helping my speaking business grow. I am ready to take my career to the next level and he asks me a couple questions…

“Where did you go to college?”

“Why should someone hire you over another speaker?”

“What do people get out of your talks?”

I am proud of my degrees from Colorado State University but sometimes I feel as if I need to have additional experience if others in the business world will find me credible. Especially with my degrees not being directly related to my field of work (Anthropology and Journalism). 

“I just have a degree in…” He cuts me off. “Ryan, I want you to promise me one thing? I want you to never use the word JUST or ONLY ever again. Deal?” I stop and think about this brilliant concept!

What sounds more confident:

I just have a degree from…
I only have experience with…

I just have a degree from…
I only have experience with…

Who do you want to hire, speak to, hear from or be taught by? The person who says JUST or ONLY or the person who tells you how it is! Brilliant! Remember, confidence = competence.

These two tiny words can make or break the way you sound when selling someone on your services, speeches or products. Eliminate the words JUST and ONLY from your vocabulary and be proud of what you have accomplished so far.

Over time we will have more accomplishments we can add to our credibility portfolio but for now own what you have done.

How to Be a Speaker: Own what you have accomplished and speak with confidence by eliminating JUST and ONLY from your vocabulary. Deal?

This post was written by
At age 25, Ryan Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the 2012 Championship title. As an Emmy Award winning journalist and a proud member of the National Speakers Association, Ryan uses his background in multimedia and speaking to help reach the younger generation on the importance of improving their communication skills in order to advance in their professional and personal life.

6 Comments on "How to Sound Confident By Deleting Two Words"

  • You’ll hear women use ‘just’ more than men I think- as if apologizing for their success. We need to take ownership of our accomplishments! Check your “only”s and “just”s even when writing!

  • Fantastic post, Ryan! I shared it with my Toastmasters group. I think the proclivity to say just and only comes from a place that we don’t feel good enough.. Well if you don’t feel good enough speaking, why should I listen to you? So the answer- Confidence=Competetence-
    and on that.. I love this Ted Talk that scientifically backs up “Faking it till you become it”

  • Guilty as charged! No more “just” and “only”….out the door with “what if’ and “if only”.

  • Marc Gabris says

    Great post! Why should anyone detract from their accomplishments? There is no reason! Thanks for the post Ryan! I’ll remember this in my communication with others.


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