Who Gives a F*** about an Oxford Comma?

Credit to Vampire Weekend for their song with same line. And the same concept. I don’t know precisely what they’re talking about except that people who are more concerned about diction than their relationships may just be doing it wrong. You can improve speech & communication skills. Doing so results in great relationships in addition to coming across as smart.

I bet ya there's nothing else that you think you should be born doing perfectly except communicating. Click To Tweet

Communicating is About Relationships Not About Sounding Smart.

Persuasive SpeakingSince the beginning of time when I started my business a lot of people haven’t understood what I do.  They didn’t want me to listen to them speak for fear I was critiquing them left & right. 🙂 They thought that the way they pronounced their words was what I was listening to. It wasn’t. To this day many still think I work on pronunciation.

Not only is improving your pronunciation not going to make you sound smart but it makes your speech harder to process. Harder for people to understand your message. So yes, you do need to sound smart. but you may be going about it the wrong way.

So yes, you do have to improve speech & communication skills. Resulting in amazing strong relationships

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How to Sound Smart?  Don’t Try.

I get it. We need people to think we’re smart. We need it to get ahead in our lives. There seems to be a pervasive misconception that if you pop your “t”s or pronounce each syllable strongly that you’ll sound smart. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

The most normal & cool people #SoundAmazing until they get up on stage or talk in an interview. Click To Tweet

Please don’t over-pronounce your words. Letters?  In English they mean almost nothing. Each letter can have multiple pronunciations. There are 5 vowel letters in English.  But guess what?  There are 16 vowel sounds!  Actually, I make it 17 because I count the “verbal apostrophe.” It has to do with intonation. Have you heard the word “deny”? That word has an apostrophe.  We don’t say deenai. We say d’nai. We don’t say tooday. We say t’day. The list goes on & on. So don’t over-pronounce but do under-pronounce. You, consequently, become a smooth speaker.

You don’t have to use a bunch of jargon & 5 dollar words to make people think you’re smart. The most normal & cool people sound amazing until they get up on stage or talk in an interview. Then it’s all staccato speech and often over-the-top jargon. You can learn how to speak better so people think you’re smart & love listening to you.

Improve Speech for strong relationshipsSpeech is about Relationships

When you can take a complex topic & make it understandable & fun for your listener–that’s when you sound smart.  To appear smart, you must be crystal clear, persuasive, authoritative, credible & warm. It’s about having relationships that are easy to initiate, easy to maintain and where both parties get what they need. It’s about making people understand you quickly and thoroughly and avoiding misunderstandings. You can do this with your communication skills.

Our ability to get our message across so we get what we need out of life is of the utmost importance. Click To Tweet

The fact is that human’s communication skills are not evolving as fast as our world, our society. The complexity of the situations in which humans find themselves has advanced at unprecedented rates. This ain’t your grandpa’s world, folks. 

Improve speech The Evolution of Communication SkillsThere are a couple of other problems here. We need to realize that no one’s perfect. No one was born with perfect communication skills but that our ability to get our message across so we get what we need out of life is of the utmost importance. Everyone has to improve speech & communication skills.

Improve Speech

If you keep challenging yourself & putting yourself into more and more anxiety-ridden situations–If you want to get ahead in the world make sure your message is clear. Most of all, make sure you listen to others & you’re kind to others. Put some time in to improve speech & your communication skills. I bet ya there’s nothing else that you think you should be born doing perfectly.

I’m always telling you guys to think about your call-to-action so let’s make mine super clear:

  1. Make sure you have great relationships with successful communiques.
  2. If you’re not getting as many people to do what you tell them, then analyze what’s wrong & fix it.
  3. Let’s forgive others’ speech mistakes and forgive our own. We’re all evolving together.

Or as this guy says in a comment on Vampire Weekends’ video:
Arman Shiraz

This is so brilliant. It brings up the excellent point that small errors, such as grammatical errors, in properly conveying an idea are quite insignificant, and begs the question as to (if this idea is understood) why the one critiquing cares about the error anyways? The song is most likely implying that critiquing is used to feel above or better than the person who made the error, even though they made an excellent point. Amazing real-world application in these lyrics, and a very musically sound structure!
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Pt. 2 of this article is here.

 Let me know what you think! Have you tried to improve your speech & communication skills? What’s worked & what’s not worked for you?

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