Simple is better than complex. Since we are unable to recapture or replay our spoken words, we hope that they will be correctly interpreted the first time they are heard. Unfortunately, spoken words can be the most misread and misinterpreted form of communication, and therefore, can be a great hindrance to effective persuasion. When you're in a persuasive situation, use simple, direct, and concise language, rather than fretting about how eloquent you're sounding. Persuaders normally try to speak to the lowest common denominator. You might feel smarter using big words, but simple words are more persuasive. Complex words will cause people to pretend to understand, but will not be persuaded.
Following are some simple guidelines to keep your speech and verbal packaging on the right track.
· Don't use technical language unless you are sure every member of your audience understands the meaning.
· Don't use profanity. In general, using profanity damages your credibility.
· Be sensitive to whatever language your audience might find offensive or politically incorrect.
· Speak in everyday language. You want your audience to relate to you and to feel as comfortable with you as possible.
· Use language that will make you seem familiar and easy to follow.
· Keep your language simple and clear.
· Keep your sentences short. Use as few words as possible unless you are painting the picture—just one idea at a time.
· Use words that will engage the audience. Use "you," "we," and "us."
· Don't use vague and abstract words. They muddle your meaning and confuse your listener.
· Don't talk down to your listener by using pompous and pretentious words.
· Use verb-driven language. By using verb-driven language, you will arouse a greater sense of action and motivation. Using action verbs will make your statement more convincing because your audience will engage their emotions, consciously and subconsciously. Verbs that are abstract or overused do not communicate excitement.
With so many words in the English language to pick from, you must be very particular about which ones to use. Some will grab attention more than others. The following 21 words are commonly used to effectively persuade: