Larsen’s Words That Don’t Work: “Just”

As a motivational speaker on communication, part of my job is to study what makes someone appear credible, authoritative and knowledgable.  And I’ve found that there are certain words that can work against you almost every time. Here’s one of them:

When you use the word, “just” before a statement, it often diminishes, minimizes and sometimes almost apologizes for what follows.  Do any of these sound familiar:

  • “It’s just that I didn’t have time…”
  • “I just wanted to ask you…”
  • “I just think it’s a better use of our resources.”

AND – the one that gets me every time:

  • “I’m just a __________(secretary, wife, front desk clerk, student…)”

And the granddaddy whopper of all times:

  • “It’s just my opinion, but…”

It isn’t JUST your opinion – it is your opinion!  You don’t need to apologize for it!

But what do I know.  I’m JUST your motivational speaker, Linda Larsen (see how pathetic it sounds? Yuk.)


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Linda, I hope you make this a series. As a communication expert I bet that you have a number of words that we would do well to watch out for.

  2. You’re are so right on with this one.  By the way, I would add irregardless to the list!  Yikes – it’s not even a word!

  3. I just don’t know what else to say!

  4. Linda, I am so in alignment with you. As I teach a program on Leveraging your Language I have a boatload of words that “just” don’t cut it. As a motivational speaker who is usually on the road solo, I curbed my habit of saying “just one” when asked how many will be dining. Now I say, “One please.” Great post.

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