Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Public Speaking Tip #55: Pronunciation Affects Credibility

One sure way to lose credibility fast when public speaking or making a business presentation is to mispronounce a word. It may not sink you entirely, but, if misused repeatedly, it can chip away at your reputation and take away from the impact of your message.

Even great speakers have words that are troublesome for them. President Barrack Obama once mispronounced “corpsman” in a speech. I dismissed it as a minor slip-up until I heard him say it again about 20 seconds later. Did it make him seem less credible on matters of military personnel? Surely it did for some.

Likewise, I’ve heard otherwise well-spoken business presenters have trouble with certain words. Perhaps they grew up mispronouncing these words and never learned the correct way.

Here are some common words that I’ve heard mispronounced in business settings:

  • Pacifically instead of Specifically
  • Post instead of Supposed
  • Prolly instead of Probably
  • Physical instead of Fiscal
  • Exspecially instead of Especially

If you are guilty of any of these cringe-worthy mispronunciations, take the time to learn and practice saying them the correct way. Good grammar and correct pronunciation will enhance your credibility and boost the overall effectiveness of your message.

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