Watch your language

When you are up on stage or at the front of the room giving a presentation, you need to be careful with the words you select to communicate your message. And you need to be selective in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. Let me explain …

Offensive language
What one audience will find offensive, another will be totally O.K. with. So, you really need to know your audience and the kinds of colorful words you can use in front of them. Sometimes saying something like, “Get your sh*t together” will shock them; other times they won’t even notice.

That said, the more professional your presentation, the less tolerant of cussing your audience will be … even if they don’t mind the language in a more casual setting. When in doubt … leave the vulgar language out.

You may know your stuff … but does your audience? When speaking to a highly savvy audience, you may be expected to use the jargon of the field, but if you speaking to a lay audience, you’ll need to speak plain language.

If technical words are impossible to get around in your presentation, define them so your audience can follow along. For example, if I’m going to have to refer to a Barr body, I’m more than likely going to have to explain that this is the inactive X chromosome in females, that both Xs can’t be active in any given sell, so one gets wrapped up in proteins to inactivate it. And this is called the Barr body after Murray Barr, the researcher who discovered it.

When I was in elementary school, kids used to tease me for using the word “average.” Why can’t you use “normal” they would ask. And I’d respond that normal wasn’t what I meant. You see, although “average” and “normal” have overlapping meanings, they each do mean something specifically different from each other.

When you are speaking to an audience, be sure that the words you are using mean what you intend them to mean. And, that your audience will also understand the words that you are choosing. This may take some dictionary research, and will definitely take some audience research.

As you can see, there are several ways that you need to watch your language when you get up to speak. I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any other areas to suggest for watching your words, please post them in a comment below.

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About the author

Carma Spence, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Superpowers and turning their knowledge and interests into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

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