Wednesday, May 23, 2007

century-old expressions or cliches as prop words?

A worn-out expression or cliche started with one person who said if for the first time and it sounded good to others who picked it up and used it themselves then got picked up by others who heard him and also used it and so on and so forth until it now becomes hackneyed or over-used and should therefore be avoided.

Many speakers think that using these hackneyed or century-old expressions will make them sound authoritative or professional. An example of some of these much-abused expressions are "in this connection", "as a matter of fact", sad to say", "in the meantime", "may I have the honor to present to you", "without much ado", "the last but not the least" and a lot more.

I know many of us fall in the pit of using cliches because their commonness make them easy to access and therefore could save the speaker from losing grip of the entire speech. When this happens, lapses and ah,ah,ah will take over and could be the end of your public speaking career.

In preparing your speech it is important to pay attention to your choice of words, in trying to say what you mean in fresh language and original style. Expressions that became a hit centuries ago may no longer work with today's tech-savvy listeners. We need to upgrade our vocabulary or get updated on the latest techno lingo in order to have some relevance to our modern-day audience.

Cliches, whether in writing or in speech, have to be avoided at all cost.

No comments: