Avoid Petting in Your Speeches to Make Them Sound More Convincing.

Petting like an animal is amazingly cute. However, as placeholders for your presentations (or your resume), affectionate words can undermine you more than they help you.

As productivity writer Seth Godin points out, “sweet words” are anything that artificially inflates your claims but doesn’t really say anything. This is the written equivalent of cropping a photo so that there is no trash heap outside the frame. Godin gives several examples:

Advertising caresses. Every seasoned marketing copywriter knows how to use them. “Half discounted” means: “There is at least one item of questionable origin on sale for half the price. Everything else is whatever price we want. “

When you say “almost 500” it is a completely different message than “500”. Words like famous, legendary and luxurious sound unconvincing. They allow you to stray from your promise.

When you’re trying to improve your resume or make your presentation more memorable, focus on statements you can actually substantiate, rather than sugarcoat the average statement with buzzwords. Not only will the listener likely see your tricks, but rephrasing your statements to sound cool is a trick anyone can do. It won’t help you stand out as much as you think.

Unreasonable | Seth Godin


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