Do Your Words Betray You?
by Wendy Weiss
The words you use say a lot more than you might think. They communicate not only the idea you're trying to get across, but also tell your listener how confident you are and whether or not you believe what you're saying.
What do the words that you use say about you? What is your basic message? Do your words support that basic message?
As a business owner, entrepreneur or sales professional, part of your message must be of confidence and authority. You always want your prospect or your customer to see you as an expert in your field, as someone who is credible and someone who is knowledgeable. Sometimes, the words we use or the way we use them get in the way.
Have you ever started a conversation with a prospect or customer with the phrase "I'm just calling"?
That little word "just" is an apology. It says that your call is not important and that what you have to say is not important. Delete it from your vocabulary immediately! Simply tell your prospects and customers why you are calling. That is enough.
"I believe that..."
"I think that..."
Who would you rather listen to? Someone who believes or thinks she knows something-or someone who just knows it? The phrases "I believe" and "I think" detract from your message. They detract from your power.
"Once we have completed... we will hopefully achieve."
No one pays you to "hopefully" do something. They pay you to do actually do it! Tell your prospects or customers what they will achieve or should expect to achieve.
To make your words sound powerful, pitch your voice to a lower level than your usual speaking voice. In our society, a lower-pitched voice is perceived as more authoritative. Also, make sure that the inflection goes down at the end of every sentence. When nervous, everyone tends to make even statements into questions with an upward inflection. This will make you sound nervous and unsure. Be careful also, as you are doing this, not to drop off or throw the last words of your sentence away. That would sound like you are giving up.
It may take some time and practice before you are fully comfortable eliminating the words "just," "I believe," "I think" and "hopefully" from your vocabulary. It will also take some time and practice to get the lowered vocal pitch and downward inflections at the end of sentences. But it will be time well spent when you see the difference in the way your customers and prospects respond. Even if you do feel nervous, using these particular word and vocal tips will make you sound confident and self-assured. Eventually, you will even begin to feel that way!
Copyright 2006 Wendy Weiss