Do you have a signature style? Or look? I bet you have a signature dance move that you bust out when dancing to Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” How about a signature hairstyle? Perhaps, you look your best when you’re wearing a high bun, your hair down, or even out, wild and free. All of these attributes make you uniquely YOU.
Hold your horses though. There’s one other signature attribute that makes you uniquely you – your Signature Words. These are the words that you use ALL of the time. You use them when talking to your best friend, when talking to your boss, and when talking to the cute guy at the checkout counter.
It’s important to note that words, like a little black dress, should be used at the appropriate time. For example, you wouldn’t wear that black dress to the dentist’s office (unless, I guess you were Victoria Beckham). Similarly, why would I say to my boss, “Girl, I think the best way to increase membership is through marketing, ya know?” This is an exaggeration, but Words do have a time and place factor.
If you were to wear that dress to the dentist’s office, you would probably get a couple critical stares or rude comments. Likewise, when you use your “Signature Words” at inappropriate places such as the workplace, oftentimes your co-workers won’t take you seriously. Your credibility diminishes. Your ideas are brushed to the side as your co-worker gets the positive praise after she says the same exact thing you just did, but in a more succinct and professional way.
Some of my signature words include: actually (If I had a dollar for each time I said this, I would be a millionaire), ya know, so, that’s crazy (I think this is my favorite phrase, and must admit that sometimes I use it at work with co-workers), and additionally.
Take a moment to think about what your signature words are. If you’re having difficulty, you can enlist your best pal to fill you in. I bet she would be more than happy to let you know what words you overuse. Jot these words down so that you become more aware of their usage. In the next post, I’ll talk about how we can change these words to more powerful ones that will help you when speaking in professional settings.
In the comments below, let me know what are some of your Signature Words?