You may very well be so tired of futzing with your year-end fundraising missives that the thought of even one more tweak makes you break out in hives. BUT if you can muster it, I’d highly encourage you check out this infographic from GrammarCheck.
If you can work up to nothing else, scan your communications for the word ‘very’. Very is unnecessary. Avail yourself of the wonderful list of alternatives at the bottom of the infographic!
Interesting and troubling fact: The top 1% of words used by nonprofits make up 65% of all the words you use.
Compare this to income disparity: The richest 1% of people in the world control ~50% of the wealth. That’s a distressing disparity. And the disparity we see in terms of nonprofits and language is even bigger!
Let me put that another way: You are using the same words again and again and again and again and zzzzzz….sorry, nodded off. Because when we see/hear the same words all the time, we stop paying attention to them. You can’t afford to have people stop paying attention to your work. Your work, your mission, your vision are way too important to be ignored.
I came at this from a slightly different angle when I introduced you to Super Verb last week. I wanted to underscore this point because it’s REALLY, SUPER, DUPER IMPORTANT.
Pro Tip: If you make no other shift in how you’re using words to engage more people more deeply in your work, start by swapping out one word that you use all the time. Just one. (A verb would be a great choice since they’re the superheroes of every sentence.) That one change will vivify your messaging. And that’s all good.
The Wordifier can help you with this task. And Super Verb, of course, stands at the ready to help you in your quest to find heroic words!
If you want to get serious about making your words as heroic as your work, check out Claxon University. Doors open officially on June 1.
We learned so much from the research we did for The Wordifier. We’re still sifting through it all. But one thing was immediately, shockingly, riveting-ly evident: nonprofits are using so few words it’s worrisome.
We decided this was a problem so big it warranted it’s very own superhero. Thus, Super Verb was born!
(You knew if Claxon was going to create a superhero it was going to be a verb, right?)
Check out the infographic and then go find more heroic words!
For those of you wanting to use words to change the world, finding the best words can be super stressful. To get people excited about your work. To get them engaged in your mission. To turn them into super fans who want to make your organization the talk of the town. You want your words to wow!
There are some good resources out there. Lake Superior State University has its Banished Words List. And, of course, there’s the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year (because heck yeah!). But that still leaves the question of which words nonprofits should use/avoid.
We created the following infographic so you would know exactly which words you should use, avoid and use sparingly or with caution in 2014. We’ll explain why each word is on the list in some follow-up posts. For now, print it out. Hang it up. And have fun using your words to wow!
It’s no accident that infographics are all the rage these days. Our brains readily absorb info in tidy visual packages. It forces brevity and therefore helps us avoid Pitchfall #3 (“you talk too much”).
Below is great example of an infographic that blends interesting info (only 8% of venture-backed startups have women leaders…ugh) with a subtle pitch (getting an MBA can help close the gender gap).
Getting more women into tech has been an uphill battle. There are lots of different groups chipping away at it and progress is being made, but it’s tough to get a sense for how much progress. We need a shot of optimism that the gap is shrinking.
Obviously, education plays a huge role in bridging this gap. With this infographic, MBA Online, makes it easy to see how far we’ve come and, by being the creator of the graphic, plants the seed that getting an MBA could be a great move if you’re a woman interested in tech.
Sometimes, letting the words take a backseat to some visuals is a mighty fine way to make your pitch.