If I hear the word “again” said one more time in a briefing, I may lose my professional manner and yell, “Stop it.”
If you are talking about something that someone else has already said, using the word “again” signals to your audience that it’s okay to take a quick nap. Same old info. There’s nothing new here.
If you are presenting and need to repeat something, what can you replace “again” with? Persist in figuring this out and your audience will never forget you or the information you give them. Don’t bother with wordsmithing? You will be their favorite briefer that they love to tune out.
When you repeat the word “again”, you are parroting someone else’s contribution:
- Again, as Fred has said, ……
- Again, as you all know, ……
- Again, the main thing here is ……..
What about your contribution? It could be just as important or of greater value. There should be no “again” about what you say. If you can’t add value, it’s better to withhold comment than to echo what has been said without any new spin.
When you speak at a briefing, you can only do one of two things: give new information or give a new spin on old information. Either way, no one else has done it before you. So there can be no “again” about it.
If you are repeating yourself, you still don’t need that word. You should only repeat yourself for greater emphasis or to get people’s attention riveted so you can challenge them. Use language with the skill of a surgeon instead of the “a” word. Arrest your listeners’ attention with a headline that captures your goal instead of aimless language doodling at your audience’s expense.
For example, “What’s different about today’s rain? You say it has rained for the last week but this time it’s different.” Then spell it out.
Your audience expects you to be long and boring “again.” Violate their expectations.
Jill Kamp Melton is the author of The Power of the Zip and is known for: Leading and Coaching Leaders; Asking Challenging Questions; Setting Direction for Others to Grow; and Strategic Planning. As an executive coach, life coach, Intentional Difference coach, facilitator and author, Jill has a passion to help others realize potential they may not be aware of.