Darlene Price is President and Founder of Well Said, Inc., a training and consulting firm specializing in high-impact presentations and effective communication.
As a 20-year veteran of the speech communication training field, Darlene has personally coached over 5,000 business professionals on the art of effective presentations and interpersonal communication. She has presented to audiences across six continents and coached the chief officers and senior leaders in more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. In addition, her work as a corporate spokesperson has earned her seventeen industry honors including one Emmy Award and nine Telly Awards.
The difference between the almost right word
and the right word is really a large matter–
’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
Practice the Three As: Appreciate, Acknowledge, Ask
Simple words that tell a person they’re valued generate positive emotions and create job satisfaction. For example, “Thank you, I really appreciate your efforts!” or “We couldn’t have done it without you!” Acknowledging others also boosts morale. “Congratulations, you did it!” “Great idea–let’s go with it.” Equally important to appreciating and acknowledging is asking others for their ideas. It not only makes them feel valued and esteemed, it may likely provide you with important information. In fact, by asking questions, you may even avoid the number one cause of workplace negativity: when an employer makes decisions that affect his or her employees without first asking for their input. For example, “What do you think?” “How would you approach this?” “Please share your thoughts.” Words that appreciate, acknowledge, and ask take seconds to say, yet they can create lasting rapport, better morale, and a sense of well-being with your colleagues.
Say What You Can Do
After a long layover and weather delays, you finally arrive to your favorite hotel for check-in. In hopes of getting a good night’s sleep on a high quiet floor, you ask for a room upgrade. The front desk clerk curtly replies, “No, we can’t do that.” A nearby seasoned manager intercepts and politely affirms, “Ms. Smith, welcome back and thank you for your loyalty. Let me see what I can do to accommodate your request.” Chances are, the first reply left you cold and possibly offended. The second reply restored good will and offered you the courteous service you deserve. Or, imagine asking a co-worker for help on a project that has you overwhelmed. She retorts, “That’s not my job.” That may be true, but it’s certainly not helpful. What if instead she said, “I can see you’re swamped. How can I help?” She may either lend a helping hand or respectfully decline depending on the size of your request; however, at least her verbal attitude conveys empathy, understanding, and support. What a difference it makes when we choose positive words that communicate what we can do for others.
Craft and Repeat Power Phrases
Winston Churchill advised, “Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.” According to research, some of the most persuasive words also happen to be the shortest and oldest. Look at any advertisement, and you’re likely to see one or more of these words:
Affordable Best Convenient Discover Easy Enjoy Fast Guarantee More New Power Reduce Results Safe Save
Why not use a few of these words in your next presentation to create power phrases–verbal ads that can help your customers visualize how much better life will be when they own your product or invest in your service. For example:
- It’s affordable, while giving you all the power, performance, and speed you need.
- Best of all, you’ll save time, save money, and get immediate results.
- It’s fast, easy, and convenient. Plus it reduces your cost.
- You can safely access your data anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
- Enjoy it at home, in the office, or in your car.
If Rudyard Kipling was right, ‘words are the most powerful drug’ used by humanity. In your next presentation or conversation, please consider how you can use words as ‘medicine’ to motivate, inspire, and persuade others to reach optimum outcomes.
For more tips, please read the recent article in Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/26/words-and-phrases-that-inspire-motivate-and-persuade-at-work/