How to Sound Smarter at Work

At work, you want to sound smarter and more confident with your English. And you certainly want to use professional English terms that can help you achieve these goals.

Our post today is going to focus on 12 words that will help enrich your English vocabulary so that you are able to arm yourself with professional English words at work.

I’ll give you lots of examples and tips on when and how to use each word, too! Let’s start, shall we?

1. A Smarter Way to Say Okay: Certainly

Instead of saying the basic “Yes” or “Okay”, make use of the word “Certainly” in your interactions and communication at work. It can also be an alternative to saying “definitely”.

“I am certainly learning a lot of things here.”

“No problem, I can certainly do that for you!”

“I’ll certainly be there!”

2. Professional English Version of Change: Modify

Another word that will help you sound more professional is “modify”. You can use this when talking about schedules, timelines, reports, and more work components. It’s certainly a very easy to understand and easy to use word. You see what I did there?

“We have to modify this report based on our discussion earlier.”

“Could you modify the timeline of the project?”

“Do you want me to modify the plan we will be presenting to the team?”

3. Instead of Saying Goals, Use a More Professional English Alternative: Objectives

It’s a common thing to have goals at work, of course. But the word “Goals” being a bit basic, you can replace it with “Objectives”.

You can definitely use this in reports and presentations and you will sound more professional and more prepared at the office.

It’s very similar to the word “Aspirations”, although it’s more appropriate to use this when you talk about personal dreams and goals.

“The objectives of our training today are as follows…”

“This data meets our objectives, I am impressed!”

“I have a question on one of the objectives you have stated.”

“My career aspirations include being the Department Manager in five years.”

4. A Stronger Word for Guess: Imagine

Instead of saying “I guess that will work” or “I guess we will succeed”, form stronger Professional English lines with the word “Imagine”.

Not only does it sound more proficient and skilled, it makes you sound like a visionary too!

“I imagine this idea will work!”

“I imagine we will succeed in this project!”

5. Think About It: Consider

Another basic word you can replace is the word “Think”. Switch it with a more solid and more convincing professional English word: “Consider”.

“Let’s consider all possible outcomes for this project.”

“Will you consider changing the format of this report?”

6. Use this Word at Work: Elaborate

Sometimes in meetings and discussions, you’ll lose grasp on an idea or thought or what the other person is talking about. It happens to the best of us. But instead of being too direct and asking “What do you mean?”, compose what you will say in a more professional way, with the use of the word “Elaborate”.

It’s also a better way of saying “could you tell me more about this?” or “could you discuss this again”.

“Could you elaborate on this section please?”

“Do you mind elaborating on the second objective?”

“Would you like me to elaborate further on this last item here?”

7. The Professional English Version of the Word Happen: Arise

Don’t say the word “happen”. Instead, use the word “arise” to have your sentences and lines sound more professional.

“We have some unforeseen circumstances arise, I need to move this meeting.”

“Thankfully, no complications have arisen.”

8. Level-up Your Results: Use the Word “Ramification”

Wow, this is indeed a step up to the already professional English word “results”. “Ramification” takes it a notch higher and you will definitely catch the attention of those whom you are talking or communicating to.

Take note though, that the word “ramification” has a negative connotation. So be careful when you use it and make sure it helps you sound more professional AND clearer.

“If we modify the timeline now, the ramifications could be severe.”

“That missed step in processing has ramifications.”

9. Don’t Ask for Opinions, Ask for Perspectives

Or you can also use the word “prerogatives”. You can use both words when asking for feedback and inputs from your colleagues and workmates or your bosses. Or the other way around too, when you would like to share your own opinion, as well.

“What’s your perspective on this matter?”

“Is it alright if I express my prerogative on this item?”

10. You Can Also Use the Word: Consensus

Perspective and prerogative is more suited when you are dealing with individuals. But when you are asking for the opinion of a team or a group of people, the more professional English word to use is “consensus”.

“We’d like the team’s consensus on the new workshop schedule.”

“Before we implement this new process, let’s hear the group’s consensus.”

11. Don’t Say “Easy”, Say “Straightforward”

Straightforward means uncomplicated and simple. But there’s no need to make it sound that way, especially when you are at the workplace and are aspiring to sound more professional and proficient.

“This is a pretty straightforward task.”

“The instructions are very straightforward, you’ll have no problem following them.”

12. A Professional English Solution to the Common Filler “Like”

Let’s face it, “like” is a really overused and common filler. And if you can avoid using it in professional situations you’ll most definitely benefit from doing so.

It makes you sound unprofessional and unprepared. Instead of using “like”, use more solid and professional phrases such as “such as” or “for example” or “for instance”.

“Let’s modify the colors in this design. For instance, more green and blue.”

“I think we can add more diverse characters. For example, a different model in this section here.”

Alright! So you’re now equipped with a more professional English vocabulary you can arm yourself at work. Practice these words and perfect them, okay?

By the way, here’s a post that you can supplement with this lesson. It will give you more business english phrases that can take your skills to a more advanced level!

Enjoy! And see you on the next lesson post!

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