I recently attended a seminar entitled Tactical Communication by Dan O’Connor. I attended with a few of my coworkers.   Dan’s latest book entitled “Say This –NOT THAT!” embodied a lot about what was communicated at the seminar. Understanding the nature of phrases and how some can be considered danger phrases (things to avoid saying) and power phrases (things we should say). Have you thought about things that you may say that could result in a negative response?   For example, if you are working with someone with a concern and you say a danger phrase such as “calm down” versus a power phrase as “I understand” you can quickly understand the potentially different response you would receive back. In a collection agency, we have to understand how we word things because the words we choose may impact our ability to connect with the client or person.

Not only are there these types of phrases there are many types of positive phrases we can use in different types of situations that help connect thoughts and keep conversations going smoothly. For example, strong phrases to use in a transitional way could be “That reminds me….” or “By the way….”

Another great tip he discussed is using freestyle scripting to assist in speaking in a casual open way yet with direction. Using key phrases will help jog our memory in a way which allows us to touch on all of our points, but without reading from notes or a script. He used an example of doing a toast at a wedding or saying a few words at a funeral. By having a few keys phrases you can easily speak to all of the points that one would say. All you need to show on your notes are the following and anyone could fill in the blanks.

Good ……

As we all know…..

We all…..

I’ve…..

So let’s all….

By using these quick phrases you can see how you can easily say something like Good evening, as we all know we are gathered here today to remember the life of John Smith. We all have shared many experiences with John ….and I’ve been privileged to know him in his journey of life so let’s all bow our heads and pray in memory of John.

I appreciated attending this seminar as it provided me with some simple tips on ones use of phrases and the impact they can have in speaking in various ways from a sales presentation to a simple public announcement.