Sound more confident at work: Ditch these 5 phrases

The higher you climb the corporate ladder, the more you need to sound the part. If you use any of these five phrases, you could be holding yourself back.

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Graduation season is upon us.

Soon thousands of new-minted graduates will enter the workforce, and hundreds of articles will appear about how these young professionals can jump quickly and successfully into the corporate world.

These pieces will cover the usual—email etiquette, how to network and tips for steering clear of office politics—but one important issue won’t get as much coverage as it should for new grads and even for seasoned pros: how to speak like a professional.

I’m not talking about verbal tics, overusing “like” or “umm,” but about phrases that, though they seem innocent, can make you appear less confident than you really are.

Scrap these phrases to look more professional, knowledgeable and sure of yourself:

1. Qualifying phrases

“I’m no expert, but …”

“Just off the top of my head …”

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