Speaking clearly and confidently when we are in front of clients can make the difference in selling or not selling. Some words can weaken our message and make us sound less than confident. We use them to fill silences that we feel are uncomfortable. Silence can be golden!
These words that we insert into our conversation my speech teacher used to call "word whiskers". They hang on our conversations.
I often hear these "word whiskers" when I work with sales people. Might any of these sound familiar to you?
"We're "JUST" going to "THROW IN" these 10 "FREE" spots per week."
Notice how the use of "just" and "throw in" diminishes the importance of what we are giving to our clients? "Throw in" implies little thought and less value. Plus, there is no such thing as a "free" spot (spot is what happens to your clothes to send you to the cleaners. Use "message" or "commercial" instead.)
Another set of word whiskers I hear is "This page is KIND OF ..." It is or it isn't. "Kind of" weakens our message.
I have also heard "Like". This seems to be the new catch phrase for young people. "It's, like, the best way to communicate, like, you know, a good way to say it."
Like, like, like. I DON'T like like!
"But", "yeah", "Uh", "So", "Sort of". Sound familiar?
There is nothing wrong with a few seconds of silence.
One of the best ways to know if you use these word whiskers is to record yourself before you present to your clients. Listen to how you say what you say. Tiny words can sabotage our message and drive our clients to distraction. Think about how carefully our on-air compatriots choose their words. We should take a lesson from them.
In addition to what we say, it is very much how we say it. Say it with gusto!