Why “We’re Excited” is the Sugared Cereal of Filler Words

When we begin a business presentation with “We’re excited to announce…” or “I’m excited about,” our intentions are good. We want to send a positive message. The downside is that opening a presentation with “excited” is like serving empty calories for breakfast. “We’re excited” is an overused phrase that fails to provide value or stick with your audience. All sugar, no substance. Like sugary breakfast cereal, “We’re excited” is fine to use occasionally, but not as a standard opening.

I recommend that you begin with more substance. Focus on the value that you provide to the audience. For example, “Our customers asked for shorter turnaround times, so we’re launching X to get products to customers faster.” Or “We’re seeing a shift in consumer demand for Y." Changing our habits takes intentional effort.

I try to be aware of how often I say “excited” and “great.” When I hear these words repeatedly in my own presentations, I ask myself “WHY is this ‘great’?” or “What's a specific example to support ‘excited’?” I replace fillers with meaningful content.

Opening a presentation with a meaningful phrase is like a good breakfast. It sticks with our audience, so they can remember and repeat what we said.

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Think "Louder" to Speak with More Confidence

I’m frequently asked for advice about how to speak with greater confidence. My recommendation? Speak louder.

What happens when you speak louder is you sound more confident. By thinking “louder,” you stand-up straighter and speak with greater energy and conviction. It’s not about volume. It’s about changing your mindset.  

For example, I recently prepared a business leader to deliver remarks to an audience of 800+ people. I recommended that she speak “louder” in her practice session. When I played back the video that I recorded after she tried speaking “louder,’ she said “Wow! What a difference. I always thought I could speak softly because there’s a microphone. But this isn’t about whether people can hear me, it’s about whether I sound confident and committed to what I’m saying. 

Another benefit to “speaking louder” is that it’s an easy instruction to remember under pressure. We can all remember a two-word instruction, even when we’re anxious about public speaking.    

If you feel tentative about speaking to an audience, I encourage you to try “speaking louder” and ask a colleague for feedback. Chances are good that your colleague will say “You sounded more confident!”