Words are incredibly powerful. With your words you can inspire, educate, empower, convince, and move people to change. You can also discourage, misinform, confuse, and dis-empower people. To be effective, you must have a good command of language. This does not mean that all successful people are highly educated or have big vocabularies. It does mean that they know how to use what language they possess for maximum impact. Whether speaking to a your work team, interacting with your boss, or negotiating a major contract, it is important that you use the spoken word effectively and powerfully.
Power Words: Some words have more power than others. This is true in advertising where words like free, sell, new and improved, have been used for years to attract attention. Using language for impact requires knowledge of the power of words as well as a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. The right word is always better than many not quite right words.
Things to avoid include…
Over Talking: In many cases “less is more”. When you use the right words you do not have to belabor your point. People become suspicious of the veracity of your claims if you ramble on and on.
Overinflated Words: Avoid using big words just to sound smart. “Utilize” and “use” mean the same thing. Why utilize the word utilize when you can just say use?
Talking Yourself Out of the Deal: Don’t negotiate against yourself. You need to make sure that you are not your own worst enemy in the negotiation or communication process. In many cases, the person who is most comfortable with silence will win the day.
Charged Words: If you use emotionally charged words make sure it is on purpose and with your audience in mind. Otherwise you end up blocking your message and antagonizing your audience.
The Power of Positive
Words and phrases that emphasize the positive tend to have a better immediate and long-term impact than words and phrases that are negative in nature. Glass half full people tend to draw people to them and have more influence than those who are always looking for the negative. I said once about a person that for them, “not only was the glass half empty but it was poisoned!” For some it takes practice to fight against their mindset of negativity. Develop the habit of speaking positively and it will pay big dividends.
**Excerpted from the upcoming book Real Change Now – Secrets to Becoming a Change Master, Daren Martin, PhD