A to Z Challenge: W is for Words

Communication is all in the language. Your message will be understood or not understood based on the words you use. This is pretty obvious. There are other considerations when choosing the right words to convey your message. This is what the rest of this post is about.

Be conversational

Deliver your talk as though you are having a conversation with someone and not delivering a thesis (unless off course you are delivering a thesis).

The key here is to ensure that your audience understands your message. Know your audience.

Use short words

Stay away from fancy words. Some examples below:

  • Fancy: I want to convey to you
  • Short: I want to tell you
  • Fancy: Terminate
  • Short: End
  • Fancy: Commence
  • Short: Start

I hope you are getting the idea.

Avoid acronyms…

…without explaining them first.

Stay away from industry jargon unless you are delivering an industry speech or presentation.

Use short sentences

In addition to allowing you to take a breath once in a while, it also makes your talk more interesting, easier to follow and will keep your audience awake 🙂

Use the active voice

This is not easy for many of us who are used to writing technical documentation. Using the active voice will make your talk more dynamic.

Which one do you prefer?

Passive: The speaker was introduced by the MC.

Active: The MC introduced the speaker.

Paint pictures with your words

Even when the talk is in industry, people tend to remember something which has formed a picture in their minds. What do you want the audience to remember?

Which one paints the picture better?

The girl walked through the fields to get home.


The girl walked slowly through the green fields, happy to be going home at the end of a long day.

Using linguistic devices makes your talk much more interesting and memorable.

The next one is X is for the X-Men of Public Speaking.

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

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