How to choose WORDS & SYNTAX for a POWERFUL Message

 In Delivery, Feedback, Luminary, Meetings, Message creation, News, Q&A, The Winning Voice

The words you speak, matter. How you sequence words – the syntax – matters.

Changing words, can change the impact you have on an audience.

For example, in my executive communication coaching, I’ll often share two sentences that only vary in one word. But that one word changes the effect on the audience. Here are the two sentences:

I have to exercise.’

‘I get to exercise.’

What’s the purpose in me telling your this. Simply this.

When you’re making a presentation or pitching an idea in a boardroom, the words you use and how your sequence them, can make them forceful or make them unpersuasive.

Here are steps in choosing the words and syntax for your key message(s).

#1 SPOTLIGHT the key message. That is, prior to delivering the words of your key message prepare the audience that something important is coming, say. for example, ‘If you take away nothing else take away this point . . .’; The key message to remember is . . .; The bottom line is . . .’.

#2 FRAME your key message in a Subject-Verb-Object syntax or start with a verb.

But don’t start with a qualifying phrase.

(A phrase is a group of words in a sentence that does not contain a subject and verb).

Here are is a key message structured in two ways. Reflect on which one has more impact – ‘a’ or ‘b’?

a. ‘The take-away message is this. ‘For the success of this project, it is crucial to have your support’.
b. ‘The take-away message is this. Your support, is crucial for the success of this project.’
Let’s agree that ‘b’ has more impact.

Own the Conversation

In the next seven days take five minutes before a sharing a message use the above steps to choose the words and syntax for the message. After sharing the message note its impact on the audience


p.s. here is a post on the danger of being overly optimistic


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