Words…

This post is brought to you by the words … “Exclusive” and “Technology”.

I like words and I like to use words appropriately. I also listen to the words that others use and ponder why particular words are used. This research then leads to you hearing or seeing that word everywhere. (Look up R.A.S. with respect to NLP to learn why this is so.)

Lets take an exclusive look at our first word ‘exclusive’. How many times have you encountered this word on news updates, news broadcasts and current affairs programs? I bet the answer is multiple times every day. The next logical question is do you pay attention to the word? I find that whilst I am noticing the word more often, I am disregarding whatever is said after that word.

Then you have the noise of exclusive product offers such as the ‘exclusive to XXX bookshop’ new release that is not only offered at other book retailers but can be purchased for substantially less at the local chain general goods retailer such as Kmart.

Our next word is ‘technology’. I just did not realise how much technology there is out there. Everything from shampoo to skin care products to appliances to motor vehicles, you name it and it often bristles with technology. About the only place that you see the phrase used less is in the technology industry. It seems in fact that it is the most non-technology appealing products that utilise the word most often. Just how much technology is there in hair shampoo? Lets be clear here that shampoo is basically a detergent with other compounds added to provide market differentiation (aromatics, colouring agents etc) or product stabilisation (mould inhibitors, gelling agents etc). Even the container itself, whilst necessary, is simply a differentiator. I am still looking for the shampoo advertisement that refers to its new bottle technology. Give them time, give them time.

Now let me get to the point of this post. We all use words freely and often. We tend to use the same words freely and often. So freely and so often that we do not notice ourselves using them. The person that does notice is the audience. They hear the same words again and again, and whilst reinforcement is important in getting your message across, the audience may focus on the repetition and not the surrounding comments. Result = they do not take in what you are saying.

Now add in assorted other words and sounds like  - ‘um’, ‘err’, ‘OK’, ‘right’, absolutely’, ‘whatever’ etc and the distraction becomes elevated to the point where no one is actually listening to the content of the presentation.

TIP: record your presentation (video or audio) and listen to it. Look for redundant words, repeated words, irritating words and remove them or replace them with better words.

Practice your words and know their value. In a ‘noisy’ world cutting through is getting harder AND more valuable.

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