47 Phrases to avoid when speaking

This list is from the book Talks on Talking by Grenville Kleiser. It was originally published in 1916. While many of the phrases have fallen into disuse, it is amazing how many are still being used today! What do you think we should add to the list?

  1. I rise with diffidence
  2. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking
  3. By a happy stroke of fate
  4. It becomes my painful duty
  5. In the last analysis
  6. I am encouraged to go on
  7. I point with pride
  8. On the other hand (with gesture)
  9. I hold
  10. The vox populi
  11. Be that as it may
  12. I shall not detain you
  13. As the hour is growing late
  14. Believe me
  15. We view with alarm
  16. As I was about to tell you
  17. The happiest day of my life
  18. It falls to my lot
  19. I can say no more
  20. In the fluff and bloom
  21. I can only hint
  22. I can say nothing
  23. I cannot find words
  24. The fact is
  25. To my mind
  26. I cannot sufficiently do justice
  27. I fear
  28. All I can say is
  29. I shall not inflict a speech on you
  30. Far be it from me
  31. Rise phoenix-like from his ashes
  32. But alas!
  33. What more can I say?
  34. At this late period of the evening
  35. It is hardly necessary to say
  36. I cannot allow the opportunity to pass
  37. For, mark you
  38. I have already taken up too much time
  39. I might talk to you for hours
  40. Looking back upon my childhood
  41. We can imagine the scene
  42. I haven't the time nor ability
  43. Ah, no, dear friends
  44. One more word and I have done
  45. I will now conclude
  46. I really must stop
  47. I have done.

15 common mistakes speakers make

This list is from a brain-storming session we held at the recent World Champions Edge summit in Calgary.

  1. No message
  2. To many messages
  3. Ignoring your audience
  4. No pausing
  5. “Chicken soup” stories (using other common stores and not using your own stories)
  6. Making yourself the hero
  7. Stepping on the laugh
  8. Explaining why, not how
  9. Not being yourself
  10. Making assumptions (about your audience)
  11. Being too serious
  12. Forcing (irrelevent) humour into your speech
  13. Repetitive gestures
  14. Winging your speech
  15. Not customizing your message to your audience