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What not to say in an interview/proposal

It has been said that it is not always what you say but how you say it.  Sometimes a minor adjustment can make a huge difference in how your audience feels about your message.

Some useless filler words: 

Obviously
Basically
Actually
If you will

If…..

Example: If we stay on top of managing your dollars we will meet the budget. (To the client, this may or may not happen)

Instead:  We will stay withing budget because we will be closely managing your dollars by doing  x, y, and z. (This works much better because you articulate what you will do and how you will make it happen.)

Negative twist to the positive 

One of the shortlist questions my team was to answer in their prepared presentation was, “What will you do do avoid wasting time and money on this project.”

The common response: We will avoid wasting time and money by…

The high impact response focuses on what they want as an outcome:  Our track record on recent projects is evidence that our proven strategies will ensure time and money are optimized on your project. (Provide your track record and what you steps and tools enabled you to reach that outcome.) 

I came across a wonderful listing of over 100 words to avoid and alternatives from Lohfield Consulting Group who focus on the technology sector:

 http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/07/20/insights-lohfeld-words-proposal.aspx?goback=.gde_113031_member_137962840

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