There is a vintage ad that was all over the airwaves in the 80′s. One man turned to another, mentioned what his stock broker suggested and then said, "And what about you?" The response was "My broker is E.F. Hutton" and everyone in the area, no matter what they were doing, on a plane, a tennis court, wherever, froze in place. Then a booming voice declared, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen."

Are you ready for people to listen?

One sentence can grab attention. Here are 13 that make a difference. Use them wisely, for persuasion, not manipulation. Stringing words together to create a powerful sentence or finding that one best word, is an art and a craft that can be easily learned.

Power sentences and self-esteem.

If you are looking for a new job, a promotion or venture capital think about how you can create sentences to emphasize belief in yourself and your strengths. I will give you the "idea sentences" and you can take it from there. Once you give yourself permission to brag in a positive way you will see eyes brighten with interest to know more about you.

Be clear and up front about your qualifications, skills, competencies, accomplishments and achievements. Then spice it up with emotional words.

  • I'm extremely well-qualified to work with you because......
  • The opportunity to work together strongly appeals to me for the following reasons.....
  • I'm deeply interested in adding my high level experience on this project by.....
  • My extensive study in this realm will be of great benefit and here is why.....
  • I am confident that I can contribute new and exciting possibilities with my experience....

If you were taught that it's self-serving to "blow your own whistle" or "toot your own horn," forget it. That's from eras past. Just remember, you need to back up what you have to say with actions. And, as with anything, overkill will get you shrugs instead of smiles.

Power sentences and personal talk.

Next are power sentences to use in personal conversations with colleagues at work. An added benefit, it will also be a big winner at home.

What I'm going to show you now opens the door for more meaningful dialogue. Traditional superficial discussions rarely get to a next level. And the next level is where the creativity resides.

Remember these two words, they open up worlds of conversation possibilities: wonder and curious.

Here is how it works. Every kid is curious and sees the world with wonder. Now, as an adult, using these words activates positive feelings of exploration.

Here are some "idea sentences":

  • I wonder how you and I could collaborate on this project.
  • I'm curious about how you came to that decision.
  • I have a curiosity question. What was the driving force to get you to your present success?
  • I was wondering how you find the time to do all that you do.

Power sentences where one word makes all the difference.

Picture this setting. You are in line at the supermarket and it is really crowded. Your cart has fifteen items and you are in a hurry. Someone taps you on the shoulder and says "Can I get in front of you, I only have seven items."

Now, same scene and the tapper says "Can I get in front of you because I am going to be late to pick my son up from school?"

Which scene would make you more apt to move aside?

Social psychologist Ellen Langer tested this type of situation and found that merely adding the word "because" made the world of difference. She suggests that when you want someone to take action they are more prone to do so by giving a reason.

  • I need help preparing for the meeting because I have an emergency dentist appointment.
  • I want you join our team because we need your great talent and ideas for the videos.

Power sentences and community.

Seth Godin has done excellent work helping us see how vital it is to be part of a tribe. You'll get a more favorable response for a newsletter sign up by saying "join here" rather than "click here" or "sign up."

Being part of a community is inherent in our nature and when we are asked to join, to become a member, to be invited, something magical happens. It makes us feel like we are part of something larger, more meaningful and in a way it makes us feel special being included.

  • I hope you will join this wonderful project that will help so many people.
  • I want to invite you to come along with me to meet the rest of the group.

Bonus Sentence.

This one is guaranteed to stop anyone in their tracks to listen and respond.

  • It means a lot to me to work with you.

This bonus sentence, filling in your own specific reasons has done so much good for relationships over the years. I hope it will become a favorite of yours also.

And, by the way, it means a lot to me to have you read this post and I'd love to hear from you.

Published on: Dec 1, 2015
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