You Know What You’re Talking About…Right?

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    Convince the audience that you’re right

    Wimpy words modify or water down your conviction and in the end your position. When you pepper a conversation with “hopefully,” “perhaps,” “I feel,” “kind of” and “sort of,” the message you convey is a lack of confidence. Use power words such as “I’m confident that,” “my track record shows,” “I take the position that,” “I recommend” or “my goal is.” The language you use gives the listener an impression about your level of confidence and conviction.

    We’ve all made this mistake at some point. Whether through nerves or a slip of the tongue, we end up taking our formerly solid point and watering it down to the point of irrelevance. This quote, from a Monster.com article by Diane Diresta, is directed at job seekers, but actually serves extremely well for any avenue of public speaking (or writing, for that matter). Whether your goal is to convince a room full of school kids or an auditorium packed with reporters, projecting confidence and a deep belief in what you are saying is critical to making a convincing and believable point.

    This concept – and the others Diresta lists in her article — are essential to the type of communication often associated with effective crisis management.

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    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
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    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]