Tag Archives: clarity

The Words We Use Matter. Choose Them Carefully.

Bill Maher‘s recent slip reminds us of the risk that comes with the words we choose, and the importance of choosing those words carefully. .

The recent controversy over Bill Maher’s use of a racial epithet was yet another example of the power of language. Words have meaning, both good and bad. Words have power, both good and bad. Words make us feel things, both good and bad.

This post is not about Bill Maher, the politics of language or that specific epithet.

But that episode has shown us yet again that people can react strongly when we use powerful language. Language can inspire and motivate, it can align people, and create progress. Language can also sting and create anger.

We live in a world where the words we use carry great risk. Far too often, we have seen examples of people in the public eye — politicians, comedians, celebrities, athletes — make comments intended to be funny and off-the-cuff, get taken in an unintended way, causing a political firestorm and backlash. How many times have we seen people be forced to apologize for such comments?

The point for you today is a simple one… when we speak in a business context (which is always the focus of this blog), a lack of preparation has never carried more risk than it does today. When we don’t prepare and think about what we want/need to say, the jokes we think will be funny, aren’t… the casual language intended to show how relaxed and cool we are, creates a different reaction… the data we reference to prove our point leads the audience in a different direction, and questions we did not anticipate come at us.

Yes, today’s point is a simple one. Think about what you want to accomplish with your words. Think about who you are speaking to, and what their perspective is. Ask others for their input on what might work and what might not. Prepare. Your lack of preparation has never carried more risk than it does today.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

Do Your Words Inspire Others to Keep Talking?

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. It’s the time of year for graduation ceremonies and new beginnings. We’re seeing inspirational books displayed on the shelves of our local bookstores, graduation cards at stationary shops and snippets of commencement speeches flooding our newsfeeds. As I think of the… Continue Reading

6 of the Most Common Interview Mistakes

In our coaching and training, we end up discussing the interview process all the time. Many of our clients interview regularly for promotions within their company. And almost all of our clients have to conduct interviews with others, for positions they are trying to fill on their own teams. Part of our coaching process is… Continue Reading

Your Colleagues Will Build a Statue in Your Honor

In nearly every workshop I teach, I ask a question that sounds something like this: “How many of you attend too many meetings that run long?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How many of you get too many emails that are too overwhelming to read?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How… Continue Reading

3 Keys to Being a More Memorable Speaker

Here’s a great goal for you in your next meeting or presentation. Make it your mission in life to make it easy for people to remember what you say. Have you ever had the experience where a presenter just walked into the room, and from the moment he or she opened their mouth, you were… Continue Reading

To Change the Minds of Others, Change This About Yourself

Some of our most popular blog posts lately have been about how we communicate with each other, and the divide that’s so often formed when we’re faced with an opinion or viewpoint different from our own. And while there are plenty of examples we’ve written about from our President on this subject, it’s certainly not limited to… Continue Reading

What to Know Before You Tell Your Story

At The Latimer Group, we talk and write all the time about the ability to communicate clearly. That is our purpose, our mission, our raison d’etre. To succeed in the 21st century global business environment, you need to be able to communicate with your colleagues, employees, customers, prospects, and shareholders, and you need to be… Continue Reading

Clarity and Brevity: The Search Continues

Have you ever sat through a meeting, or a conference call, or a presentation, and thought to yourself, “Oh my god… I wish this person would get to the point…“? Yeah. Me too. Many, many times. We all know what it feels like to have our time wasted by someone who just won’t, or can’t,… Continue Reading

4 Long-Term Benefits of Being a Great Communicator

Being a great communicator is about so much more than the sales call you’re about to make, the meeting you’re about to join, or the conversation you’re about to have… Beyond the immediate benefit of closing a sale, or contributing to a meeting, great communication skills create several significant realities that will benefit you in… Continue Reading

Video: The Recipe for Great Communication

The Recipe for Great Communication contains 5 ingredients: Clarity, Brevity, Context, Impact, and Value. But depending on your audience’s “taste” — that is, depending on what kind of information your audience needs — those ingredients may vary in proportion. So, how do we know how much of each ingredient to use when we prepare for meetings… Continue Reading

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