Selecting the Best Words for Your Message

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  • 0:38 Robust/Specific Words
  • 1:35 Recognizable Words
  • 2:28 Cliches & Buzz Words
  • 3:46 Corporate Jargon
  • 4:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Workplace communication depends upon delivering messages effectively through the use of professional writing. It is critical to understand how to select the best words for your message.

Selecting Best Words

The careful selection of powerful words for your business messages will allow you to keep the readers' attention and deliver your ideas effectively. In this lesson, we will discuss four key tips to select the best words for your message.

Simon works for Crazi Toys in the marketing department. His job places him in the center of the message highway, as he has to correspond daily with production, engineering, accounting, finance and packaging. Simon is going to show us how he tries to use the most impactful words when communicating in business to receive the best response. Let's take a look at each tip now.

Choose Robust/Specific Words

Simon's first tip is to choose the most robust/specific words when expressing thoughts and ideas in your business messages. It is important to choose strong nouns and verbs, which will allow you to not overuse adjectives and adverbs within your text. For example, Simon had to provide a summary of their new dump truck to a local toy company. Simon's description was originally: 'Our dump truck moves through mud with its big tires.'

Simon reworded the sentence with more robust words and the result was: 'Our mighty dump truck maneuvers through sludge with its colossal tires.'

Simon's additional tip is to utilize a thesaurus, which offers an immense list of synonyms for you to consider for your word choice. He usually improves his word selection with a quick review of his message with the aid of his thesaurus.

Choose Recognizable Words

A second suggestion from Simon is to choose recognizable words. Although it is recommended to use a thesaurus, you don't want to choose words that you and your reader will not understand. The words should be recognizable and commonly used within your business world. If the word choice is confusing, the reader will not comprehend your ideas. For example, Simon's sentence with recognizable words would be: 'His old-fashioned toy ideas were fantastic for our sales this month.'

Now let's chose a word that was on the list of the New York Times most challenging words and hence not so recognizable: 'His antediluvian toy ideas were fantastic for our sales this month.'

If Simon's employees did not understand the word selection of antediluvian, they would not comprehend that old-fashioned or classic toys ideas were a successful way to increase sales.

Avoid Clichés and Buzzwords

It is also important to avoid clichés and buzzwords within your business message. Clichés are overused phrases that portray the writer as having no original thought. They should be avoided in all situations as they can decrease the professionalism and overall interest in your message. For example, Simon tries to avoid the following clichés:

  • Due diligence
  • At the end of the day
  • All hands on deck
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen

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