Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Watch your language!

Posted on: June 9, 2011

Clear, focused, and powerful language – whether verbal or physical – conveys knowledge, confidence, and authority. Vague, disjointed, and sloppy language – both the spoken word as well as the physical movements – denotes ambiguity and a lack of direction.

Your body language and your spoken language reflect your thoughts and beliefs. Both create an impression of who you are and influence how you are perceived. Your language serves as signals, communicating your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Decide on the impression you want to create and choose your language accordingly.

To convey a clear message, make sure your spoken language and your body language match. Powerful language delivered from a limp torso sends mixed messages. And when there is a mismatch between the words themselves and the way they’re delivered, people believe what they see more than what they hear.

Follow these simple rules to ensure that you effectively communicate who you are and what you want to say:

  •        Know your audience. For people unfamiliar with a particular subject, the overuse of jargon, technical terms or buzz words can result in misunderstanding and boredom. Make sure the language you use is appropriate for your audience’s level of understanding.
  •        Suit the words to the situation. You wouldn’t go strolling in to a top executive meeting with a wave and a ‘Hi there, how ya doin’?’ anymore than you would march in to a family gathering with a formal handshake and ‘how do you do.’ Read the situation and equip yourself with a vocabulary to suit all occasions.
  •        Start with a clear idea of what you want to say. Use only the words that are essential to your meaning. Clarity and simplicity emanate confidence. Sloppy language indicates sloppy thinking. Be precise in your choice of language or your meaning will be lost, and so will the listener.

REMEMBER: To create a positive impact speak in positive terms. Negative language breeds negativity.

TIP: Avoid words and expressions like: ‘but’, ‘try’, ‘kind of’, ‘sort of’, ‘actually’, ‘basically’, or ‘to be honest’. They are negative, weak, and ineffectual.

TECHNICAL STUFF: Research shows a link between status, power, position and vocabulary. The greater facility you have with words and phrases, the higher up the corporate / social ladder you can go.

CAUTION: Conflicting signals result in confusion. Ensure that your spoken language is congruent with your body language.

FINALLY: Knowing how you want to be perceived, you can equip yourself with a wardrobe of spoken and physical ways of communicating. When your spoken language is congruent with your body language you have the tools to create a powerful impression.

  1.        Don’t blind them with science – unless they’re scientists
  2.        Suit the action to the word, and the word to the action. Suit both to the occasion
  3.        Sack the superfluous – keep it concise

 For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

and…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

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