Absolutely: Are you feeling queasy yet?

Words drive thoughts. Thoughts drive emotions. Emotions drive decisions.

The use of the right words can move your listeners in the right direction and the use of the wrong words can move them in the wrong direction. Right, meaning in the direction that you want them to go and wrong meaning the opposite.

It’s not just the choice of words that lead to your success or failure but the abuse of words.

When you present you want your audience to remember the most important words that reinforce your message. You don’t want them to remember words that detract from your message.

The speaker was talking about coaching. So you would think that the words that the audience should remember the most would be about coaching – the process and the results.

Instead, the word that I remember most from this presentation was “absolutely”.

I heard it so many times that I started to feel sick when I heard it. Sometimes it was uttered three times within two minutes.

Absolutely, Absolutely, Absolutely.

The speaker was using the word, “Absolutely” instead of “yes”. I did not hear the speaker say “yes”. Curious, what was she hiding?

Superior speakers use shorter words and short sentences to get their message across. Absolutely is four syllables while yes is one syllable. Which do you think is the better word to use?

If you mean yes – say yes.

Job interviewers and police interrogators will tell you that the more words a person uses to answer a simple yes or no question – the least likely that the answer is true.

Did you complete your degree? Absolutely
Did you kill John Doe? Absolutely not.

Do you love me? Absolutely.
Did you have sex with that person? Absolutely not.

Did you mean yes or no?

If you mean no – say no.

Why would a speaker say absolutely when they mean yes?

Perhaps they think that “absolutely” sounds sexy, modern or intelligent. In each of those cases they are talking insincere.

Perhaps they are uncertain about their information or position. “Yes” would sound much more certain.

Perhaps they are mimicking a word that they just heard which suggests that they are not thinking about what they say or how it might affect their message.

Do you want your listeners to remember your key message or do you want them to remember an annoying word like absolutely?


George Torok


Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.Share/Save/Bookmark
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