Have you tried to express yourself in a professional situation but couldn’t find the right words to get your message across? Or maybe your explanation was too long, interspersed with “ums,” and you knew there was a more effective way of saying it.
Our words are powerful. If used correctly they can give you a professional edge. The following tips for generating maximum impact will work while at a networking event, negotiating an offer, or just communicating with supervisors and co-workers:
Less is More
Like most things in life, quality wins over quantity. State your point in as few words as possible and make your sentences short. For example when talking with your boss you may say, “Our project will produce results by the targeted dates,” or “We are moving to the next phase of work, after successfully completing the first.”
Watch Your Anxiety
When you are nervous it shows through your voice and choice of words. If there is an uncomfortable silence, you may be tempted to fill it in with “ums” and other filler words to help take up space. Just PAUSE instead, and watch someone else jump in.
If you choose strong words to express your ideas, but the timing of when you deliver the message is off, no one will hear it, i.e., if the company is being downsized, and you have some ideas for a new sales venture, this is probably not the best time to introduce it. Better offer it up next quarter.
Don’t be Repetitive
Repetition can be a good thing, if it is well thought out. For example, make your point, and then bring it up again at the close of your conversation for emphasis. But if you keep repeating yourself out of nervousness, your audience will stop listening and valuing what you have to say.
Avoid Discounting Yourself
Watch for this, it is a turn off. Sometimes when you are not used to being forceful, you may use a phrase that takes away from what you just said. For example, you just said to your boss, “Our marketing effort created a 20 percent increase in lead generation—and then you add, “But we don’t know if that will generate new sales,” which is better left unsaid.
How your voice projects is important. A full sound, rather than a tentative shrill, gains respect from those listening. Some people take lessons to improve their resonance. It is possible to develop a strong voice—practice makes perfect. The right words coupled with a great voice creates the win!
Check out these power phrases—they will get you noticed in the workplace!
- Can do
- Yes, I will accomplish that task
- Here’s our course of action
- Strategically, this makes sense
- The results will be…
- We can have a tangible impact
- Let’s optimize our resources
- The results are in and we’ve made the list
Avoid using words that decrease your power
- I will try that.
- Maybe it will work.
- Um, interesting idea.
- Not sure if I can do make that happen.
- Well, it can have this result.
- Seems really unlikely.
- There are a few options, and not sure how to go