Powerful Messages Use Powerful Words - Chuck Garcia

Powerful Messages Use Powerful Words

The language of leading is built on one’s ability to perceive, relate, and communicate—after all, it is a language! What we communicate through our non-verbal cues is extremely important, but so are the words we choose in any given situation. Powerful leaders who inspire, persuade, and provoke change use powerful communication.

Note your use of language in scenarios you find yourself in on a continual basis. Do you choose powerful words that inspire and get others excited? Do they want to hear more? Or are your words listless, and not compelling anyone to listen?

You may not realize it, but in many ways, a compelling leader can be compared to an entertainer. Like a musician or actor, a leader’s ability to be successful requires an energy or rapport shared between them and their audience. Have you ever been to a concert where the crowd was electric? You weren’t the only one feeling that, the entertainer did too. As a result, they respond in kind with a powerful performance. On the other hand, you’ve probably attended an event where the energy was stale, making it difficult to engage or be interested.

Your goal in the office with a few team members—or on a stage with a larger audience—should be the same: understand your audience, feel their energy regarding the topic at hand, and in return choose to communicate in a way that will motivate them to listen and engage.

The Use of Power Words: Winston Churchill

Rather than continue to describe what I mean, let’s deconstruct an example from the great Winston Churchill:

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: it is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: it is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Now, notice the underlined words that harness the power of language…or the language of leading.

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say:iIt is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: it is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Each underlined words makes the listener feel something—“ordeal”; “a struggle”; “all our might”; etc. The speech is layered with power words throughout. Remember, listeners are not moved by facts. They are moved by effective, powerful, and emotional words, supported with facts. While we’re not Churchill and the fate of western civilization doesn’t hang in the balance, become accustomed to using power words to which audiences respond so well.

To learn more about how you can integrate powerful words to make you a more powerful leader, take my speaking assessment at www.chuckgarcia.com/assessment.