Event Professionals: Using different words for more powerful communication
Words connect us, and when the right words are used, they deepen those connections. For meeting professionals trying to connect with our attendees, production teams, and property staff—all of whom are as busy as you are—you need to be able to not only get their attention, but do it quickly!
Here are 10 ways to do just that by focusing on the words and phrases you use.
If you find yourself using tired old clichés and words that don’t serve you, consider using these replacements instead, and watch your personal brand as a meeting professional grow stronger as your communications connect you more quickly and deeply with others.
1. But. No one believes what you say before “but,” only the words you use after it. Don’t replace it with “however”; simply make your point and stop talking.
2. Problem. If you ever say to someone, “You know what your problem is?” you can bet they don’t want to listen! Problem is a negative word. Use “challenge” or “opportunity” instead to put a positive spin on a negative word, and your team is more likely to help.
3. Issue. Replace “issue” with “challenge,” for the same reason that makes “problem” problematic. For busy meeting professionals, every day includes a new challenge—if you can stay positive and calm, you will achieve greater results.
4. Should. Please stop “shoulding” on people! When someone says, “You know what you should do?” do you listen? I don’t. Replace “should” with “Would you consider?” It’s more inclusive language and has a positive impact on the listener… and it gets their buy-in quicker if you need immediate help.
5. I can’t. Replace with “I could do this,” or “I have the capacity to do this.” Meeting professionals are always being asked to do things outside the scope of the project, and these phrases show that you are a leader who is in charge of a situation.
6. They work for me. Replace this with “they work with me.” It’s more inclusive—and we all know it takes a village to pull off some of our events.
7. My team. Start saying “our team” instead. A friend and fellow speaker, Chad Hymas, often asks “Where can you replace the words ‘I,’ ‘me,’ and ‘my,’ with ‘you,’ ‘we,’ and ‘ours’?” Good advice.
8. Take it to the next level. I hate that phrase (yep that’s harsh language) because it is an overused cliché. Get more creative with your words; i.e., “accelerate results,” “create progress,” or “improve performance”—these phrases will sound even stronger to your client.
9. Push the envelope. Just when I thought this crazy phrase was eliminated, I heard a senior executive use it in a meeting this week—it blew my mind. Don’t use it. Get creative! Use phrases such as “explore boundaries” or “overcome objections” or “be more innovative or creative.”
10. Outside the box. This phrase is not only overused, it’s just silly. I am tiny; I could fit in a box, and this phrase always makes me giggle. Stop it, immediately. Use words like “creative,” “innovative,” “ground-breaking” instead.
Bonus: Pick your brains. This is the ugliest phrase in our language - it conjures up visions of the gorillas in Sydney Zoo grooming each other! Instead replace it with “Can I tap into your briliance?” and voila, you have someone's attention!
The language you use can affect the impact you make as a meeting professional.
Choose positive words that will get the attention of your client, your audience, the production team, the hotel staff, and even the people you share your home life with.
Change your words; change the world!