Weak Language is any word or phrase that does not add value to your message.
In English, the word is umm. Every language has some version of umm, why do we say it? We use it as a crutch while we are thinking of what we are going to say next, and because we are uncomfortable with silence.
Why is eliminating weak language so important for a public speaker?
People are taking in what appears to be a limitless amount of information each day.
Consider what happens to the brain when it has too much information to process. The brain makes choices, it decides what it will take in and what it will keep out. In order to process the large amount of information that we encounter daily, we often block new information that has no value to us as an audience. What does that mean for you as a presenter? Your audience is judging whether what you have to say is of value to them.
Your goal is to get the audience’s attention and keep it, so that they receive the information you are communicating. Eliminating weak language is one of the key ways to increase the value of any message you communicate.
Tip #1: Get comfortable with silence; silence is the most powerful tool you will ever have as a speaker.
Tip #2: There is no neutral everything that comes out of your mouth makes your message stronger or weaker.
Tip #3: Try to identify the most common weak words in your language. For example, umm, basically, and like are all examples of words that dilute your message. The goal is to eliminate those words that really do not mean anything from our vocabulary.
Tip #4: All audiences are prejudiced, when the first 20 or 30 seconds is nothing new, what do they assume the next hour is going to be? Nothing new, attention lost. You want to identify and eliminate weak language and replace it with something strong.
Tip #5: Every time you hear yourself say a weak word, or feel that you are about to, pause and think about what you want to say.