Monday, February 13, 2017

Mean What You Say

Can you spot the weasel words in these sentences?

"I wanted to kind of..."
"Maybe you can think about..."
"We would like it if you could join us for..."
"I am going to share with you..."

In writing, we are taught to eliminate the use of weasel words in sentences. They create ambiguity. Lack direct intention. Compare the sentences above to these:

"I want to..."
"Think about this..."
"Can you join us for..."
"I will share with you..."

I have heard three professional speakers over the last sixty days use weasel words. It was hard to bask in the glow of hearing individuals who are famous for their experience and talent speak while weasel words fell out of their mouths. The majority of us use these words every day without realizing it. Yet unconsciously, listeners pick up on the uncertainty of our words.

Eliminating weasel words isn't just for writers, it is also for speakers, professionals and leaders that want to show more commitment, authority, and decisiveness. To appear confident in yourself and what you know, don't dance around the issue.

Mean what you say.