Words, words, words…

A common trait that people exhibit when they are presenting on Eaglei workshops, is to use too many words.

Most people do. But why use say 20 words when 10 will do? The golden rule here is that ‘less is more’.

This is an exercise I conduct with some of my clients. I ask them to write down 100 words about what they do or their business. They politely agree. I then ask them to do the same using 50 words, which they do by carefully editing what they have previously written. I then ask them to do the same using 25 words, then 12 and finally six words that convey what they want to say. The purpose of the exercise is to consider really carefully what words they use and focus on which ones in particular are significant and add value.

In addition, in verbal communication, most people use ‘filler’ words or phrases – something I refer to as redundant language – most of which mean absolutely nothing and are just that, redundant. Typically, these include:
• Um..
• Er..
• Well..
• So..
• Like..
• At the moment in time..
• At the end of the day..
And my favourite…
• To be honest..

If you are in the habit of using such words or phrases, try replacing them with a single pause.

A pause has profound benefits. It can:
• Give you time
• Give your audience time
• Add ‘weight’ to your message
• Replace redundant language

The key is to allow yourself time to think and one of the most effective ways of giving yourself time, is to pause.

At your next presentation, pitch or networking meeting, think about how you can convey your message(s) using less words. After all, if people want to know more they will ask!