Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is typically on message. Notably, the man never misses an opportunity to state his disdain for the Koch brothers.
But Mr. Reid was off his game in a recent interview. While answering questions on the release of Sergeant Bergdahl, he uttered the words that have been played over and over in the media, and not because they worked. He repeated Hillary Clinton’s infamous phrase, “What difference does it make?”
While most of us won’t recycle Hillary Clinton’s words, we often say things that do anything but make us sound relatable and likable.
When we say…
- “Kick the can down the road” – We sound cliché (and like a politician).
- “First Amendment” – We sound out of touch (sadly, not everyone knows what the First Amendment is).
- “That’s a great question” – We sound like we’re stalling (and we probably are).
Instead, we should use words that make us sound like, well, a real person. For example, say…
- “We can’t delay any further” – It means the same thing, but without the Washingtonian jargon.
- “Free Speech” – Who isn’t for free speech?
- “Let me put that into perspective” – It’s never a great question anyway.
So, do your words really make a difference? Yes. Your words can determine whether someone tunes in or changes the channel.