This is a continuation to the topic I wrote about in January 2015 : The 4 standards an online business should have. So if you haven’t read that yet, go read it and come back here to get more details on the 1st standard.
The 1st standard, Sophistication, was written as 2 Part Series. This is Part 2 of the 2 Part Series.
If you didn’t get a chance to read Part 1 of this Sophistication Series, which I wrote in May 2015, go read this blog post and then come back here to finish up with Part 2.
Now you should be caught up on both blog posts
So let’s jump right back into this Sophistication standard that you should have in your business.
Sophistication In Your Words
Sophistication in your language, your vocabulary, how you write and speak is very important.
You can have a really sophisticated image online, but if you can’t match it with how you write and speak, it doesn’t send a consistent message and people won’t know which one is authentic.
Don’t be phony about any of this, but realize you might need to gain more skills or practice things, to be able to reach a level of sophistication that helps you establish and maintain a real professional business image online.
Check how you write and speak
Someone who is Sophisticated in their language means they aren’t trite, and they don’t use cliche’s.
They are more advanced and set their standards higher.
They do this because they want their words to impact and influence.
They don’t want their words or statements to be numbed over because their audience has heard it so many times it has 0 impact anymore, so they miss the point you are making.
Checking how you write and speak needs to be a diligent, ongoing process. I can let you know from experience it is not easy at first, but soon it becomes second nature.
Realize, this doesn’t mean monitoring everything you say or write. It just means raising your standards in this area.
How can you become more sophisticated with your writing or speaking?
The best way is to expand your vocabulary.
You expand your vocabulary by engaging with others with a higher vocabulary, or reading, & reading more advanced material, or if you want, you could always read the dictionary or thesaurus
Those with more advanced vocabulary’s don’t need to use trite sayings or cliches because they don’t need to rely on them. They become creative enough with their writing because they know more words. They know how to make their point creatively and effectively.
This doesn’t mean you sound all stuffy or you use big words to impress people. It just means you give more thought to what you are saying. You stop being lackadasical with your words, and your strive to or seek out to use different ones. You still obviously want to be natural in your speaking.
You don’t have to wait to be sophisticated in your writing
Even if you don’t have the most advanced vocabulary right now, or aren’t the most well read, take the time to rewrite something until it makes an impact and it’s not something that has been said millions of times, including by your competition.
So don’t take the easy way of saying something. Instead, think of a new, or more refreshing way of saying what you want, to make your point or sentence.
Make this an ongoing practice. For this to become a part of you, you need to do it consistently.
Doing this a lot will help you sound more natural. The more you write or speak this way, the less likely you will sound like you are just throwing a new word or two into sentences just to use new words.
It really will help you become a much more sophisticated writer & speaker quicker! To me, it’s kind of like a challenge, so it’s sort of fun for me.
It might take a bit more time at first, to rewrite these sentences or phrases, but soon you will get quicker at it.
Just ask yourself these questions
– How else can I say this without using this trite phrase or cliche?
– How can I make my point really impact more?
– If this was the only sentence they read out of the entire post, would they walk away with value, learning something new, or think I am a leader by the way I write
– How can I say this in a positive way instead of the same way marketing has been done for years – using negative words.
Other reasons to become more sophisticated with your words:
– You will have a lot more pride about what you write or say – and you will be more excited to share it with others. This means you will market it more.
– Your words inspire. When you do this, you inspire others by advancing their creativity and vocabulary by what they read, when they read what you write
How to become more sophisticated in how you speak
This depends who you are talking to, but it’s more about how you get your point across or how you carry yourself in a conversation.
It’s hard to cover but, the best example of what to work on is eliminating the ‘um’s, and’s, etc. when you talk.
USA President George Bush, Jr. got teased all the time because when he off-the-cuff spoke to a reporter, he constantly used ‘uh’s, ums’. It didn’t fit the image of a well educated, already a public figure speaker. It showed a lack of sophistication in his speaking. It was evident that unless it was prewritten/script, he couldn’t say sentences without this.
But in my opinion, it also showed a lack of care. Bush could have hired the best to help him eliminate this habit and not even had to pay for it himself! But he didn’t care enough to work on it. To me, lack of care goes along with unsophisticated. He didn’t care if he ruined his image every time he did this for 8 years. And he got teased for this. It’s a part of his reputation. Don’t make things like that a part of your reputation.
There are things in your speaking you can work on to eliminate or get better at. Have the sophisticated mindset of a leader or a successful business owner to care enough to do this – practice or change things that are making you look unsophisticated when you speak.
Other ways to be sophisticated when you speak
– Finding ways to say things more precisely
– Eliminating drama from your speaking
– Personalizing: Catering what you are going to say specifically to one person, vs saying the same thing to everyone all the time
– Eliminate all cliches, trite sayings
– If you can make a long story short, make it short. Find a way.
– No one needs to know every detail, so say what is really only relevant to the end user
Part of it is just a level of respect to others, of their time and what they have to hear. The other part is just your pride to speak better in a business or casual conversation.
I am not talking about being a public speaker – in front of a large audience. But you could think of it in that way if it helps. How would you present if you were a speaker?
Again, this doesn’t mean you need to talk or write ‘all professional’, or use lots of big words that are hard to pronounce or spell, or you sound all proper/stuffy all of a sudden. It just means you care enough about your words.
Your words are a part of who you are – your image/reputation. Your words are also a part of what your professional online business says to others – represents (website, blog posts, etc.).
This is really an aspect of branding and differentiation.
So take the time to ensure you make Sophistication a new standard in your business, specifically in how you speak and write.
Spend time on this this week and month.
1. Go back and review something you wrote and see if you can improve it anywhere to show some more sophistication in your writing style or words.
2. When speaking with people, see if you catch yourself doing any of the things I mentioned above and just make an effort to not do them (or do them) in your next conversations.
3. When others are speaking, note what they do that seems to lack sophistication and see if you do any of that too. Practice not to.
4. Find where your competition lacks sophistication in these areas and figure out how you can significantly show a difference to your audience. If your target audience can have a vastly different experience by reading your words and hearing you speak vs your competition – they will gravitate towards you.
Just keep practicing this stuff. Figure out what your Sophistication standard will be for your writing and speaking. Then, keep working at it to make it a natural part of you and your business.
Here’s to sharpening your image by being more sophisticated in your language!
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