Monday, March 16, 2009

Interesting read: How to blow it in five words or less.


Nothing irks Steve Roesler more than when a speaker diminishes himself in five words or less. What may seem like courtesy when you're making that B2B sales pitch could actually be blowing your chances to seal a deal. Roesler offers the following examples of words that can kill. (Now, be honest: how many have you used when making a presentation?)

I'll only take a few minutes of your time. "That opening line made me wonder why I had scheduled more than a few minutes of my time to listen to the speaker," Roesler reports.

I just want to … Just? Roesler asks. He counts that word among the many that, when uttered in a board room, immediately "make you small."

I know how busy everyone is … "Right. But we put you on the agenda. Start talking."

Thank you for taking your time … "You're welcome. You just took up even more of my time with that wimpy intro," he says.

Language is one of a B2B marketer's most powerful tools. And people all around you, Roesler says, are looking for leadership. "Nothing makes me wince more than seeing someone who is confident in his material stand up and use words that undercut the power of the message."

His advice? Choose your words wisely, and don't mistake fawning for politeness. "When you do something to apologize for your presence, you diminish your presence," he concludes.

The Po!nt: Avoid wimpy words in presentations. Trying too hard to be "nice" may just serve to make you invisible.

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