Remember the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me?” It might be true for the playground, but not for your presentations.
As powerful as language is, there are certain words that seem to have lost their impact through constant use. We’ve been using them far too much in our everyday, casual conversations that they lose power once delivered on stage. Keep in mind these 4 low-impact words and try to avoid them when you’re delivering your next presentation:
We commonly use the word “really” to emphasize certain points. Casually, we might say something like, “I saw this really good movie the other day”.
But in formal settings such as business presentations, there’s often a lot at stake. If you want to emphasize something, it’s better to offer an accurate description. In place of saying “our new product is really revolutionary,” you can share a concrete example or supporting evidence instead.
Something like “Our new product has proven results and made plenty of sales in the past year.” would sound more impressive than giving a vague suggestion of how good your product really is.
Similarly, you often hear the word “amazing” used to describe something high-quality. For example, you might have heard it casually used in sentences like, “the new iPhone 6 is amazing.”
Again, it’s better to offer your audience something more descriptive. Let the audience deduce that what you’re presenting is amazing for themselves. Help them come to that realization by showing them specific details and examples. In our given instance, you could give the features of an iPhone that other phones wouldn’t be able to compare with. This would certainly be more impressing for your audience than simply saying it’s amazing.
You don’t want to seem uncertain in front of your audience. To deliver a memorable presentation, you need to exude knowledge and confidence.
Words like “perhaps” and “maybe” leave the opposite impression, making you seem completely unsure and unprepared. Stop hedging and scratch off the “maybe’s” in your presentation. Instead, always go straight to the point with active and urgent language.
Again, the word “stuff” offers no real description. It’s a vague way to refer to something that’s crucial to your presentation. Instead of using the word “stuff”, look for a word that actively describes what you’re trying to say.
If you can’t think of one, go for a descriptive phrase. Be specific with everything you say to allow your audience the opportunity to recall and internalize your main points.
Get rid of the “fluff” and make your presentations stronger. Achieve that goal by making use of words that are tangible and concrete. Avoid these 4 words and give your audience information that’s more meaningful and memorable.
Featured Image: marc falardeau via Flickr