What Do You Really Mean? Specificity Is The Key to Credibility

Presentation expert Patricia Fripp reminds her speech coaching clients that specificity is the key to credibility.
“Specificity builds credibility,” Patricia Fripp reminds her presentation skills coaching and virtual training clients.

What Do You Really Mean?

Every day in my role as an executive speech coach and the creator of FrippVT, I always say, “Specificity builds credibility.”

I listen to intelligent engineers, experienced leaders, and true experts in every field and find that too many are sloppy speakers. If you want to build your credibility, listen to what you say.

Here is a simple solution. You need to recognize both your strengths and areas to improve.

You Will Not Improve What You Are Not Aware Of

Record casual conversations and your side of a phone call or when you are leading a meeting. If you are like most of my clients and you will find out how often you use sloppy and not specific language.

Even my most intelligent clients fall into the trap of using the word stuff.

Stuff is rubbish. What do you really mean? At Thanksgiving and Christmas, I will give you a break if you are talking about the turkey.

Of course, in everyday conversation we don’t normally prepare what we’re going to say – so, it can feel natural to be non-specific. However, I guarantee that your important conversations and presentations will be much better if you examine your current speaking habits and then consciously build specificity into your everyday language.

The question that I often ask my clients is, “Specifically, what do you mean by thing?” I recently listened to a marketing expert speak. I’m a big fan of his expertise, but for the first hour of his talk, almost every statement he made included the word thing. I counted 25 uses of things. 

To keep me sane I wrote down better word choices he would have been better off using.

For example habits, ideas, suggestions, plans, strategies, techniques, formulas, disciplines, improvements, products, offerings.

Another big offender is tons.

You do not get tons of ideas?  Perhaps you meant three pages of notes or 16 actionable items?

After a networking event I hear people say, “Oh, I met tons of interesting people.” No, you did not. You met two dozen interesting people with whom you probably had seven meaningful conversations. You will follow up with two of them for business conversations.  Perhaps you are looking forward to seeing some of them socially or at the next event?

If you can’t weight it…it is not tons. If it were not a thing…what would it be?

When I asked a brilliant engineer “If it is not a “thing’ what would it be?” He told me, “An innovative update.”

One more for luck!

If it is not fruit is in not “brunches.”

When you are specific you will be perceived as more credible.  The more credible you are in every situation, the more you will succeed.

Let mFripp Virtual Traininge help you become a great presenter quickly, easily, and cost-effectively on your own schedule. I’m here for you 24/7 through Fripp Virtual Training.

“I wanted a super bowl-quality coach, and I was lucky to be introduced to Patricia Fripp. Her help in coaching and scripting was world-class. With Patricia Fripp on your team, you can go places.”
– Don Yaeger, Long-Time Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated magazine, Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Join FrippVT today!

More to Help You Build Credibility

Just a few of the many complimentary resources on Fripp.com to help you speak with specificity and build your credibility:

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with those who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.

Need help for you or your team on improving important conversations and presentations? The Fripp Customized Approach will work for you. Contact Fripp today!