Words to Delete

I used to be a podcaster. That's like public speaking except in private and with a record that people can reference years later. For that reason, there are certain words one needs to eliminate from one's vocabulary to improve at public speaking. The biggest culprit is "ummmm" and "uhhhh" which we tend to default to when we're thinking of the next thing to say. You can recognize who has public speaking experience (and was good at it) by the absence of these words even in their mundane conversations. Those are not the only words you should work to eliminate:

There is one more word I've eliminated from my vocabulary, though this has nothing to do with public speaking. It's one of those life lessons I came about the hard way and that, if I had a child of my own to pass it along to, would do so that he or she might escape that same hard lesson.

I do not use the word deserve. If I use it in my writing, it is a big red flare for the character of the person using it. I do not deserve a raise. I do not deserve a prize. I do not deserve your respect.

I earn those things. Or I do not. The only thing I am deserving of is an opportunity to earn.