I think.

We all use these two words. Over and over again. I use them too. Darn, it’s hard to break habits of vocabulary. But let’s try.

When being interviewed by media, the purpose is to find out what you think. So, you don’t need to begin sentences with “I think.”

How often have you read a story where every other quote begins with “I think . . .”? It’s often unnecessary. Usually, you can remove these two words without changing the meaning of the quote.

In the case of “I think,” removing these words can have a simple, yet effective result in your interviews. You will appear to be more assertive, or at least, that will be the perception. That’s important, especially if a situation demands straightforwardness, strength, confidence or expertise.

Look at the examples below. By eliminating “I think,” the quotes convey a more confident tone:

Original: “I think the association will be in an ideal situation when it comes time to hire a new CEO.”

Revised: “The association will be in an ideal situation when it comes time to hire a new CEO.”

Original: “I think it’s a good learning experience for everyone. We’re learning not to take chances.”

Revised: “It’s a good learning experience for everyone. We’re learning not to take chances.”

Here’s an example of a quote where “I think . . .” should remain with the quote:

In this example, if you remove “I think . . .” you turn the quote into a definitive statement that is different from the person’s prediction.

I think Toronto will win the Stanley Cup this season.”

“Toronto will win the Stanley Cup this season.”

I think I’ll let you debate which statement makes the most sense.