The Winning Voice

Tag Archive - omit needless words

Here’s what you can learn from A. Lincoln’s oratory

Much has been said and written about the oratory and leadership skill of Abraham Lincoln. Still, Lincoln’s speaking and approach to leading are worth revisiting. His speaking and his leading approaches are timeless – and are guideposts, as you progress along the path to becoming a better speaker, presenter and leader. Here are Comments about Lincoln from his contemporaries. These comments particularly resonated with me:

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‘Suit Speak’

“Words use by corporate heavies or upper management ‘Suits’ to confuse, convince, intimidate, or otherwise baffle an office drone or associate into compliance.” This is the opening sentence defining the term ‘Suit Speak’ from an entry in the Urban Dictionary. The entire definition can be accessed through the following link:

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‘Less is more’ and Alan Weiss

One of the key messages I share with my sales presentation and senior executive clients is, ‘Less is more’. That is, being able to convey your thoughts with less words, has more impact. (ie. than needing more words to convey your thoughts). William Strunk Jr. and EB White’s mantra around this idea, from their book, The Elements of Style is, ‘Omit needless words’.

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Deliver a spoken message, not a ‘speech’

“Just hearing someone say ‘make a speech’ makes me nervous – whether or not I’m the one doing the speech or not.”  A participant made this remark at a recent workshop I conducted. Does hearing the words ‘make a speech’ make you nervous? If it does I suggest you routinely replace ‘make a speech’ with the words, ‘deliver a spoken message’.

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How to handle reception desk interactions

Imagine this situation. You enter into a business premises, reception area and walk to the reception desk. The receptionist acknowledges you. Now, think of what you usually say, from this point on in the interaction. Handling this situation well might come easily to you, but many business people I observe, mishandle this encounter.

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