Don’t use words that might trip you up.

A confession: I almost always mispronounce the word “distribute” or any variation of it – distributing, distribution, distributor, etc. – especially when I’m talking fast. If I’m describing a series of participants in a supply chain, for example – “… manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors…” – I’ll place the emphasis on the wrong syllable and say “dis-tributors” rather than “dis-trib-utors.”

During a live presentation you get just one chance to deliver each line, each word, flawlessly. If you stumble over or mispronounce a word, it can disrupt the flow of the point you’re making. If it happens more than a few times, it can also make both you and your audience uncomfortable.

It’s a good idea to monitor yourself for any words that trip you up – your own versions of “distribute” – and make a point to keep those words out of your live talks.

When you catch yourself in conversation slipping up on a word, jot it down and add it to your list. Then, when you’re preparing notes for your presentation, you can refer to that list and make sure that no part of your talk will put you in a position where you have to use one of these words.

It’s also a good idea to keep out long, complex words from your presentations. All of us occasionally trip over words like “inexplicable,” “extemporaneous” or “demagoguery.” So try not to include words like these in your presentations or speeches.