Thursday, July 16, 2009

Speak with a purpose

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

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There’s an old adage: “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.” Though this is sometimes true, quite often it isn’t — it’s both. How you say something is important, but a silly statement made with passion and eloquence, just sounds eloquently and passionately silly. It is important that your vocabulary be equal to the image you wish to portray.

I may be dating myself here, but do you remember the Damon Wayans character on In Living Color who would consistently use complex words out of context? It was funny on the show, but in real life, that can be professionally catastrophic.

You see, we are quite often judged on our vocabulary. The ability to speak in an educated and refined manner can be the difference between landing that great job or promotion, or getting the standard, “We’ll get back to you.” The ability to verbalize your thoughts and opinions is an integral tool in building your image. It establishes a level of confidence and expectation from your audience. When you can verbalize with confidence, people will believe you. But more importantly, they will believe in you. And believe me, when people believe in you, the world becomes a different place, and your options significantly increase.

Here are a couple of suggestions for increasing your vocabulary. First and foremost, READ! I’m not talking about Cosmo, Ebony, or Popular Mechanics. I’m talking about reading books and magazines of substance. Magazines like Fortune, Money, Time, Men’s or Women’s Health, Esquire and Wall Street Journal. Not only will these help increase your vocabulary, but they will teach you the language of business. They will also give tips on improving your personal and professional situation. But the most important benefit is learning the language of businesspeople, which is universal. If you can speak the language of business, you afford yourself an audience that maximizes your possibility of success.

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Second, pick up a dictionary and learn a word a week. Learn how to use it and apply it to your daily routine. You will find that in a short time, you will have increased your vocabulary significantly.

These are just a couple of tips to get you started. As I continue through my journalistic journey, I will attempt to continue to provide you with seeds of information that you will be able to use to better yourself and others. Until next time … God bless and dress well.

William Wilson is a nationally respected men’s clothier and image consultant. His clients include professional athletes, CEOs, and corporations. His homepage is Follow William on Twitter:

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