Word Choices That Really Matter

Word Choices That Really Matter

You might say, “It’s just a word!” And I’ll respond, “I’m in the little things mean a lot business, and what you say to others AND yourself makes a difference.

Two words can mean the same thing. Yet one word choice brings out the worst and the other creates positive energy.

Words to avoid and why

Negative word: nervous vs Positive word: excited

In a past blog about handling public speaking anxiety I share a study on changing your self-talk from “I’m nervous” to “I’m excited”. This study proves that this slight tweak will improve your speaking confidence. After all, your body does the same adrenaline dance for both “nervous” and “excited”; but your head game goes in a better direction using “excited”.

Negative word: fee vs Positive word: investment

You are in sales! You may be the CEO, or the General Counsel, or the CFO and your sales team is in another department… but you are always selling. Rather than talk about “fees” for your clients, use the word “investment”. My clients hear the following phrase: “Your project investment is xx.” They never hear the word, “fee”.

Other positive vs negative word connotation examples

  • Easygoing vs Lazy
  • Confident vs Arrogant
  • Value driven vs Cheap
  • Curious vs Nosy
  • Dedicated vs Stubborn

Bonus negative/positive word choice

Holocaust survivor & Texan of the Year in 2019, Max Glauben (of blessed memory), inspired this blog. His recent obituary shares that he helped co-found the Dallas Holocaust Museum, originally housed in the basement of the Jewish Community Center (JCC).

I was on the Board of the Dallas Holocaust Museum for 16 years and I hated one of the words in the above paragraph. And everyone on the board knew it!

Don’t say “basement”, say “lower level”!

So, for the record, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, now a beautiful & meaningful stand-alone museum in Dallas’ historic West End, originated on the lower level of the JCC.

Can you add to this word choice list?

Think about your word choices and respective connotations. What words enhance or detract from your message? Your word choice makes a difference to your listeners and YOU.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and is value driven (not cheap)

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© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

How Do You Show Confidence? And how you and I are flunking this one important tactic

How Do You Show Confidence? And how you and I are flunking this one important tactic

Karen Cortell Reisman Executive Communication Speaker and Coach postureAnswer: Posture. Why? You are a victim of iHunch. We all are.

What’s iHunch? Your curled upper back posture due to looking at, reading, scrolling, texting, and emailing on your various small-ish handheld phones/tablets/watches.

Technology is transforming how we hold ourselves, contorting our bodies into what the New Zealand physiotherapist Steve August calls the iHunch as reported in the New York Times on 12/12/15.

The communication ramification from our iHunch: the slouchy, collapsed position we take when using our phones makes us look less assertive — less likely to stand up for ourselves when the situation calls for it. (Source: preliminary findings from a study by Amy Cuddy, professor at Harvard Business School, and Maarten W. Bos). Plus their study is showing that slouching can alter your mood in a downward cylce.

The smaller the device, the more you hunch, and the more unassertive and mousy you appear and perhaps become.

Cure: NOT giving up your phone. That’s impossible. BUT – look at your phone at eye level, straighten your back, keep your head up and your shoulders back.

Amy Cuddy says, “Your physical posture sculpts your psychological posture.”

Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_logo3in1′>logo3in1 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Know When to STOP Talking?

How Do You Know When to STOP Talking?

Karen Cortell Reisman Executive Communication Speaker & Coach overtalkingUse your Conversational GPS*.

Your Conversational GPS is built into your brain cells but needs to be self-activated.

Your Conversational GPS Directions:

Step one: You are talking about your family, your trip to India, your business achievements.

Step two: As you talk (and talk) quietly ask yourself – “Is this interesting to anyone but me?”

Step three: Self monitor the answer to Step Two. Either A) Listener asks you questions, B) Listener smiles and has good eye contact, or C) Listener appears passive and not that interested.

Step four: IF you picked “C” – stop talking – go immediately to a “power close”. IF you picked “A” or “B” – keep talking BUT not for long. Why? According to Carolyn Hax, writer and columnist for the Washington Post, “Unless you’re a gifted storyteller, your travels and success stories are fascinating to precisely one population: the people who participate in them, if that.”

Trying to put this advice to use is not easy. You have to activate your internal Conversational GPS and follow the above instructions – or you’ll get “lost” – in that you will lose your listener.

After returning from a recent great trip to India I’ve tried to employ Hax’s “Conversational GPS”. After taking 927 photos I narrowed the pics down to my four favs. And that’s it! Those are the ONLY ones I show. Three brave souls (out of lots of people who asked about this trip) landed in groups A and B. I loved sharing more photos and stories with Robin, Esther and Patty – thank you!

*Source: Carolyn Hax, “Separating joy from bragging” – Washington Post Writers Group, printed in Dallas Morning News 10-5-14.

© photo – 123RF Stock Photography

Ps: Your Conversational GPS can be activated on all written material as well, like this blog…

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.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog

 

3 Excellent APPs for Public Speakers

What to learn how to cook filet mignon? There’s an app for that. Looking for good places to go mountain biking? Yep. There’s an app for that, too. There are apps for every iphone/ipad user.  Here are 3 excellent iphone and ipad apps for public speakers:

Speaker APP 1 – mPrompt: mPrompt is a “teleprompter” app that allows you to use your iphone (or ipad) screen as a teleprompter. You can download and edit the speeches directly to the app and change fonts and colors of words to remind you to emphasize certain points. The speed of text flow is also customizable. It can be used with an LCD projector or on its own! At a low price of just $1.99, this app is perfect for those who want to regulate speech flow and speed.

Speaker APP 2 – Infonet Presenter: Infonet presenter is an all in one presentation displayer that can download many types of files. It is perfect for organizing a presentation, copy and pasting photos and videos, and the slides can be used as a whiteboard. This app is perfect for teachers and presenters trying to educate through this medium (appadvice.com)

Speaker APP 3 – KeyNote: Every Keynote speaker should own this app! It is the single most comprehensive and elegant slide presentation creator in the App store. The app comes with built in start-up slides for slide that feature clear, crisp designs. This app makes flawless charts and is compatible with other similar apps. The sophisticated design and animated transitions will have your audiences enthralled.

Karen Speaks to Dental Audience in Albuquerque on: Did You Hear What I Didn’t Say? How to Speak for Yourself!

Thank you to Drs. Kevin Harrison and Dianna Montoya for inviting me to speak; and for putting together a great group of dental offices. We had a really fun morning learning about how to communicate trust and grow your dental practices.

Dr. Kevin Harrison and Dr. Dianna Montoya with Karen

Dr. Frank Montoya and Dr. Dianna Montoya with Karen

Dr. Kevin Harrison and Karen Cortell Reisman

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