Monday, August 30, 2010

Are You "Sorta" Presenting?

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

At a client meeting in New York, I heard an executive say to the audience, "Leslie and I are sorta the champions for this project." You either are the champions or you aren't. He should have said, "Leslie and I are the champions for this project."

I've heard this weak pseudo-word a lot lately.  It originally derived as slang from "sort of" (meaning "somewhat") and has now become a frequently-used part of common vocabulary, even during formal presentations.

"Sorta" sounds indecisive, like you're not confident about what you're saying. And it's only a filler word since it doesn't communicate anything.

Other examples I've heard recently:
• From a sales manager at a networking event: "I'm sorta responsible for bringing in new clients."
• From a movie reviewer on television: "The director sorta explained his whole directing style."
• From an athlete who had just won a race: "It's really sorta an invigorating experience."

Listen for how often you use "sorta" and then work to eliminate it from your vocabulary. Instead, use unambiguous language that will help you communicate your message clearly and confidently.

(And yes, also eliminate similar culprits like "kinda," "coulda" and "shoulda.")

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

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