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How To Really Screw Up With Your Audience aka The Tank Principle

by | Apr 23, 2019 | 2 comments

“This property has two tanks,” proclaimed our real estate agent, Rita.

My husband, Jim, and I toured the ranch in Rita’s four-wheeler and I never saw any tanks.

At another location, Rita said, “As we drive around this 50 acres they have three tanks.”

Again, I could not find these tanks.

This confusion persisted as we drove around the northern edge of Texas’ hill country in search of a small ranch that Jim wanted to purchase. More on THAT in another blog!

Well, let me say that this venture was NOT on my top 50 things to do with our time and money. But, it was Jim’s dream and I, Ms. Urban Girl, needed to change my attitude and be a part of the journey.

As we kept searching, Rita kept mentioning the number of tanks each property had.

My confusion led to these questions: “Why was our U.S. government deploying army tanks on these sleepy little ranches? And where were these tanks concealed? And why just a few on each ranch?”

You are getting the picture. Ms. Urban Girl was clueless.

Fortunately I never asked these questions out loud! But I kept trying to find these tanks.

Do you know how many definitions exist for the word “tank”?

  1. A large receptacle for holding, transporting or storing liquids.
  2. An enclosed heavily armed combat vehicle.
  3. A sleeveless top.
  4. A pond, one built as a water supply.
  5. A jail cell.

Rita never knew that I did not know that a “tank” meant a “pond” in this scenario.

How often are you using terms that confuse your listeners? Look at your information from your audience’s point of view. Are your prospects and clients in sync with what you really mean?

Meet Seder! Born last Sunday. Mom and son are doing well.

Don’t screw up with your audience. Understand where they come from! Remember The Tank Principle. Explain and define terms and concepts that have double, triple or even quadruple meanings.

We found a fabulous property, Star Ranch. It was the best venture that I did not want. We are there most weekends and love looking at our three chickens, nine longhorns and four tanks.

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Did you know we conduct strategic retreats at Star Ranch?

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog

#PresentationSkills #BusinessCommunication #OrganizationalCommunication

Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker


  1. Val Cronin

    Great way to use humor to get your point across, Karen!
    I saw my first cow….in a Zoo. The word cow was written on top of the cage so us city folks would not be confused.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Val – you should’ve come to Texas sooner! Then you would’ve seen cows on your way to and from DFW. Always enjoy your feedback. Karen

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