Make Every Word Count
By Michael Kelly
A number of years ago I heard an interview with the Australian soprano,
Yvonne Kenny. In the interview she spoke of one of her mentors. The mentor
had given her the following advice. 'Put every ounce of your being into
every word you sing.'
Now what has this to do with making every one of your words count?
Simply this. I’m not suggesting you put every ounce of effort into every
word you speak. However, when you put more effort into choosing your speaking
words, it can pay off with more people listening to your messages.
Here are two techniques for making more of your words count:
1. Reduce unnecessary words, and over-worn words and phrases.
Say ‘queue’ instead of ‘queue up’. Discard the word ‘basically’ unless it
contributes to your message. Omit as many adjectives and adverbs that you can.
Search for and use strong nouns and verbs.
Discard the phrases such as: ‘At the end of the day, ‘The bottom line’, ‘I
want to partner with you.’
Trendy words and phrases eventually lose their impact and their meaning.
Instead of using trendy words, keep the intent of the thought and change the
For example, substitute 'The very important outcome for me in this etc.’
for 'at the end of the day'. Substitute 'My crucial determining factor' for
'The bottom line'. Substitute “Let me tell you thoughts I've been thinking'
for 'Let me be totally honest'.
2. Add words, where appropriate, to add impact to your speaking
Begin or end a series of sentences with the same word/phrase.
For example: A famous, Australian, beer advertisement conveys its message
'You can get it walkin’, You can get it talkin’, You can
get it any ol’ how'. This has more impact than ‘You can get it walkin’,
talkin’, any ol’ how’
'Feedback will occur daily', We’ll visit your office daily,
and we'll give you new strategies daily', has more impact than ‘We’ll
visit your office, and give you new strategies and feedback daily’.
This word packaging, if used judiciously, will help your words and ideas to
be more memorable
I hope that you will try this method this so all your words do indeed
About the author: Michael Kelly is
author/publisher of ‘Speak & Listen for New Results’, a media commentator,
an international keynote speaker and workshop leader, and has delighted,
corporate clients including Canle IT&T Recruitment, Credit Suisse First
Boston and Pfizer. Michael is the director of Kelly Speech Communication,
and has a clear insight into powerful speaking and listening techniques to
help his clients keep winning more business and achieving fresh results in
their careers and their lives. Kelly Speech Communication Tel: +61 2 9436
1033. PO Box 30 Crows Nest NSW 1585 Australia
firstname.lastname@example.org Please visit us at
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