My mother wrote in my baby book, “De De” as my first uttered words. For those of you who are parents, hearing your child’s first word is a momentous occasion. By the time we’re adults, 20,000 to 30,000 words fill our vocabulary cadre.
“Words make worlds,” writes Krista Tippett in Becoming Wise. Words heal, hurt, illuminate and affirm. Words describe, clarify and explain. As speakers and speechwriters, words are basic raw material, the elemental pieces that ultimately form our message.
Our goal is to convey a message, breakthrough our audience’s potential barriers, filters and assumptions and sear our message into the hearts and minds of our listeners.
Build A Bridge To Your Audience With These Two Word Tips
~ Use Descriptive Words
Saying, “picture this,” is a compelling way to invite an audience into your topic. Tell a story and you’re welcoming them into a narrative. Neither of these attention grabbers will work without descriptive language. Describe the color, size, shape, sound, visceral feelings and your ideas become visibly alive in the minds of your audience. Now…you’ve captivated them!
~ Use Zesty Words
Some words are weightier, some offer greater impact and others yield significance. When language is used well, you have the power to transport your audience to sublime or profound territories.
Let’s look at old versus ancient. Now if we are speaking about a person that’s probably not the direction to go. But if your speaking about ideas, viewpoints, principles or schools of thought ancient holds a universal mystery about it.
Take the word strong and replace it with robust. Just the sound of robustgenerously fills in potent details.
Go from scary to chilling and you might induce goosebumps on your audience’s arms. Chilling is a visceral word and can be felt in the body.
Here’s some more examples:
Perfect to Flawless; Quick to Rapid; Shy to Timid
Review your speech script and replace overused words and common language with zestier words and deliver them with a zesty flavor.