January 30, 2013
Several recent posts have focused on the power of public speaking in becoming a Communication Powerhouse, but often the basis of a good speech comes from good writing. Writing compelling words is especially important when developing a strong vision or mission statement during the strategic planning process. The wise choice of specific words can move a sentence from being a satisfactory to being outstanding!
Communication Powerhouse Tip of the Week: Choose Your Words Wisely! Sometimes “wordsmithing” may seem like a chore to some, but if you take the time to choose your words wisely, you’ll be amazed at what an impact you can make by being very specific regarding your words and phrases.
For example, one client of mine had a mission statement that ended with the phrase: “We are here to serve the poor.” During a strategic planning session, we discussed the importance of word choice, and even though the statement is accurate, the phrase is not uplifting primarily because the sentence ends with the word, “poor.” Just saying the phrase a few times, gives the reader and listener a negative feeling because the phrase ends with a negative word. When we rewrote the phrase, we changed it to” We are here to help people the underserved work toward a brighter future.” Notice the ending of this phrase is positive. In fact, we removed the word “poor” altogether and used the phrase “underserved” because sometimes clients may not fall above the poverty line and still need services.
After making the change, not only did this help bring more funds to the organization, but the morale of the staff also increased. Everyone felt better about the new vision statement. Remember: “Wise Words Win Wonderful Windfalls.”
- What do you notice when you are reading a mission statement? Does it empower the audience?
- What steps can you take to make sure you are getting your message across in a clear encouraging manner?
I look forward to your thoughts and comments below.