by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

As a business owner, you must come across with confidence when you speak. To be persuasive, you must appear to be sure about what you say, rather than tentative.

To speak more powerfully, check whether you use any of the following five words or phrases, and if you do, work to eliminate them from your conversation.

Five Words to Eliminate to Increase Your Power

1. Little.

One of my pet peeves is women who use the word “little” to describe their businesses. Even if you just started yesterday and have zero revenue, don’t EVER use the word “little” in discussing your business.

2. I think.

Don’t start or end a comment with this phrase. Just say what you want to say.

3. I hope.

Stating that you “hope” something happens, indicates you are not in control of the situation. Even if that is true, just make the statement without “hoping” it will come true.

4. I guess.

This phrase translates into “I have no idea.” Do you want to do business with someone who “guesses” or someone who can give you the definite answer?

5. Kind of/Sort of.

Is it a “yes” or a “no”? Don’t talk to me like a second grader; just give me the answer.