Thursday, February 11, 2010

Are You Repeating Annoying Phrases?

In person or on TV/radio, you may be using crutch words or phrases that drive people crazy, mostly because you're repeating them so often. For instance, I have one friend who says "basically" after every second or third word. I have another friend who ends almost every sentence with "or something."

Annoying your friends is one thing. But if you are a spokesperson or high-profile newsmaker, you may be hurting your image and diluting your message if you do this. One way to discover if you have this problem is to record an ordinary conversation and see if you are repeating any words or phrases unncessarily. Then listen or watch your media interviews and observe if you're repeating yourself.

Yesterday on "Good Morning America," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was talking about the Toyota recalls. He kept repeating the phrases "Hold their feet to the fire" and "take a back seat to nobody." I like the "back seat" phrasing when talking about cars, but I don't think it was intentional, and it got old after he said it twice. The phrases you want to repeat are your key messages, not meaningless cliches.

No comments: