Great Writing & Speaking Use Strong Verbs.

Business Writing, Presentation Skills, and Communication expert Dee Dukehart gives us great advice about strong verbs. For great writing and speaking you need to appreciate the value of your word choice. In fact Dee and I both ask our clients ” Are your communication skills costing you money?”

Dee writes “Verbs are the most important and the most used of the over 250,000 words in our dictionary. Verbs show your readers what action took, is taking, or will take place.  Twitter and texting sadly diminish the true value of the written word.

I love words, especially well-written words, don’t you?
Strong Verbs

When you read reports, memos, letters, newsletters and other documents do you always understand and “see” what the writer is saying?  The words that you “see” and  the concrete images that display a picture in your mind make it easier for you to not only comprehend what the writer is saying, but also to know what action(s) to take.  It’s the same with your writings.

Auxillary verbs creep into your writing more than strong verbs because they are more common and easier to remember:  is, are, was, were, has, had, have, will, can, could…etc.   These are vital to your language and your writing as long as you don’t overuse them or use them when a strong verb can replace it/them.

Strong verbs have more impact on your writing and also paint a picture for your readers. You can “see” strong verbs, you can’t “see” auxililary verbs.  (What does is look like?)


  • Before:  The report is done.
    After:  I completed and sent the report for your review.
  • Before:  Our audit was challenging.
    After:  Our audit created challenges for my team and me.

False subjects also use auxililary verbs; delete them when possible.

Examples:  Before: There are ten people working on the Nelson project

After:  Ten people work on the Nelson project.

Reread what you write.  Circle the auxililary verbs and underline strong verbs.  When possible, convert the auxililary verb to a strong verb and your readers will applaud you.  Rewriting befriends you and your readers.

Write with power and purpose.”

I recommend Dee’s e-book:  The Guidiing Write is waiting just for you.  Go to: $12.95 gets you started on the power and purpose of your writings.
Dee Dukehart can be contacted at

If you want to learn how strong verbs hdelp in your public speaking check out Patricia Fripp learning materials.