Choose the Right Words for Your Presentations

The words you use, or misuse, can make or break a presentation. Certain words are more rational than others, more boring, more intellectual. Some can also trigger emotions more than others. People are more presentation skillslikely to buy (or buy into what you are saying) if you appeal to their emotions.

Remember these three keys to effective word choice.

  1. Use Colorful Language to Paint a Picture That Sticks
  • Metaphors
  • Similes
  • Contrast the strange and the familiar
  • Compare the best and worst cases
  1. Use Conversational Language to Sound Conversational

Nonconversational      Conversationalpresentation words

Bifurcate                     Split

Connotes                     Means

De jure                        According to law

Fallacious                    False

Myriad                        Great number

Pedestrian                   Ordinary

Render                         Cause

Vex                             Annoy

Courageous                 Brave

Gratification                Enjoyment

Fortunate                     Lucky

Humorous                   Funny

Pleased                        Happy

Jesting                         Joking

I regret                         I’m sorry

Sufficient                    Enough

Terminate                    End

Tidings                        News

Wealthy                       Rich

Accelerate                   Speed up

Perhaps                        Maybe

Beneficial                    Good for

Challenge                    Dare

  1. Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot by Using Words That Are …
  • Discriminatory
  • In poor taste
  • Jargon/acronyms

Think carefully about the words you’re using in your presentations. Paint colorful, memorable pictures. Use the words you’d use if you were talking to someone one-on-one.

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