Political Speak: We believe vs. the Facts
Posted by Presentation Skills on March 15, 2010
With elections in South Australia and Tasmania this coming weekend, as well as a Federal election and Victorian election due sometime this year, it is appropriate to look at political language – and I’m not talking about politically correct language.
In election mode you will hear speakers from all sides of politics telling us what is the right way to think on a particular topic. Unfortunately though, the words that they use will often detract from the message given. For example:
When someone prefaces a comment with ‘We believe…’ or ‘The labor/Liberal party believes…’ they do so to give power to their statement. Unfortunately it does the opposite. When you add statements such as ‘We believe’ you are by definition offering an opinion. And as we all know, opinions are never wrong – but they are debateable.
What should be done instead of offering an opinion? Simply state your opinion as a fact.
Instead of saying, ‘We believe putting in a highway is the best thing to do’ say, ‘Putting in a highway is the best thing to do.’ The difference is subtle but profound. Your audience is no longer hearing an opinion, but a fact. Facts are much harder to argue with than opinions.
Next time you hear your local Poli offer their opinion, ask yourself if you would believe them more if they gave you a fact instead.
As always, your thoughts are appreciated.
Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach