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"Your Last Words Linger" (So Do Your First)

On my last trip to Vegas, at a conference for public speakers, a speech coach named Patricia Fripp uttered the memorable line, "Your last words linger." Her point: Choose your words carefully—and think about their impact.

This is why I don't end correspondence with "Regards," "Best," or "Sent from my iPhone."

Call them pet peeves, but that last one in particular just sort of ruins it for me—mostly in a humorous way. As in, "I love you, you're amazing ... Sent from my iPhone." Your last words linger.

Some words should linger. For example, I'm thankful someone uttered these six life-altering words to me. They can make all the difference for you too.

Personal musings aside, our first words also linger. Which is why when you hear the statements below, you might want to head for the hills—or at least detach a little. Incidentally, this list is funnier if you read it out loud.

15 Ways Not to Start a Conversation

I'll be honest.
I mean no disrespect.
No offense.
I'll play devil's advocate.
I'm sorry if.
Don't get me wrong.
I just assumed.
It's not my fault.
Quite frankly.
Why did you (fill in the blank)?
Bless your heart.
You look tired.
Did I wake you up?
We need to talk.

On the positive side, a few simple words can also bring comfort, connection, understanding, and hope. Examples: We'll make it work. I'll be there. Take your time. Consider it done.

Words have power. Look for ways this week to use that power for the good—and watch what it does not only for your relationships, but even more for you.

Words have power. Look for ways this week to use that power for the good.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at