Whenever you are having a business conversation – in a meeting with a potential client or investor, talking to your team or giving any sort of presentation, the particular language that you use impacts upon your message. It is important to build rapport through language and we influence our potential clients thoughts by the particular words we use.
Most people don’t pay enough attention to the actual words they use. They vaguely plan what they want to say ( and usually it is all about them as the speaker), especially if there is technical information to convey but most speakers don’t plan what specific words they are going to use, or how they are going to deliver them- but that’s another story.
Two of the words that cause the most damage to your credibility I hear used all the time and they hugely increase your chances of being unsuccessful in closing the deal or persuading others to take action – and you may even be unaware that you are using them!
1. The first one is “try”.
“We’ll try to accommodate all of your requirements…” – why can’t you?
” We try to deliver a great service….” – why don’t you?
” We try to give our clients exactly what they ask for….” – why can’t you?
To quote the Jedi Master Yoda, from Star Wars
“There is do, or not do. There is no try.”
When we use the word “try” we are unconsciously giving ourselves permission to fail.
It comes across to your potential client, investor, team member as unconvincing and the result if you lack credibility.
It says that you are uncertain that you can deliver and if you don’t know, then why should I have confidence in you?
2. The second word is ” don’t”.
If I was to say to you…
“ don’t think about a giant yellow hippopotamus wearing bright green shorts ”
…then it’s something that you can’t do. At best it’s a two part process.
The unconscious brain cannot process negatives directly so when I said “…don’t think about a giant yellow hippo wearing bright green shorts…” your unconscious brain hears yellow hippo, bright green shorts and that’s what initially springs into your mind.
So what has this got to do with presenting ?
When you say “…we don’t run over time…” or “…we never have on-costs…” you are immediately putting those ideas into your potential client’s mind.
They start to think the opposite of what you want them to think! and this again can damage your credibility.
Instead how much more powerful is it to say something like “…we always deliver on time…” and “…we deliver on budget..”?
So make sure that you say what you do, not what you don’t do.
When you remove “try” and “don’t” you’ll notice a significant difference in the way that people respond to you and you’ll increase your credibility rather tan reduce it.
Until next time,
Cath Daley Ltd.
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