Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stumbling blocks that sabotage credibility

I'm sure you haven't made as big a gaffe as the former CEO of BP, Tony Hayward. Yet, even the best speakers fall prey to some stumbling blocks─whether we're talking one-to-one or to the world. Once we identify ours, we can work to eliminate them and get on with the business at hand. Review this checklist and see how you do─you'll find some examples following each stumbling block:

 Hedge statements and qualifying phrases: This may not be important, but…

 Tag questions: Don’t you agree? OK? All right? The company car will be available, won’t it?

 Exaggerated superlatives: awesome, amazing, fabulous…

 Excessive apologies: sometimes "I'm sorry" are the only words that work; we just want to avoid excessive use of them.

 Self-effacing remarks: I’m just a… Well, I’ve done my best under tough circumstances…

 Overexplanations─many examples when one good one will do. Get to the point!

 Fillers: Um, er, like, you know, like, OK─you know...

 Rambling─we must know when to stop!

 Undefined jargon and acronyms. Every industry has them─what are some of yours?

It takes six weeks of concentrated effort to eliminate a nagging habit, so settle on the one that sabotages your credibility and get to work!

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