It’s not what you say but how you say it … or is it?

Mummy Malaprop?
Whenever I think about my Mum, I automatically smile. I’m grinning as I write this. Why? Well, 1) she was a thoroughly lovely lady and 2) she could be (usually unintentionally) very funny.
You see, my Mum was a ‘word muddler’ and this sometimes resulted in rather amusing conversations.
Take for the example, the day she solemnly told me that she’d been to a ‘humourist’ funeral. “… I think you mean ‘humanist’, Mum …” “… do I? Well, whatever – it was lovely. {Pause}. So, these ‘humourist’ funerals – what are they like …?”
And then there was the time I ‘phoned her to find out how Dad had got on at his ‘Well Man Clinic’ appointment. “… oh, he’s fine ...” she announced gaily. “… just waiting for his lobotomy …”
“… really, Mum? That seems a bit harsh. It was just a check-up after all …” “… oh, they did the test there and then, and that’s why we’re waiting on the lobotomy …”
Have you got it, dear reader? It took me a while. That’s right – the check-up had included a blood test and they were awaiting the results from the phlebotomy department!
But the best muddle ever has to be the following.
Near Disaster
Picture the scene if you will. We’re in a small ‘Tea Room’ in Ramsgate. Dad’s deaf, so Mum is used to speaking loudly. Mum’s reminiscing about a distant relative – a second cousin five times removed on her Grandmother’s sister’s side or some such. Anyway, she leans forward and says to me – somewhat gravely “… of course, he was a necrophiliac you know …”
(WHOOOOOOOOOOAAAAA! Back up there, Mother! WHAT?!) … used to really annoy his wife … (TRULY? No kidding!) … he often did it while he was smoking … (Ah, well. Now I understand. Smoking. Filthy habit!) … he used to scorch the carpet …
He was a narcoleptic, dear reader. He suffered with narcolepsy! Classic!
Anyway, Mum’s muddles got me thinking about language and how important it is to get it right.
It IS what you say
Many of you are probably familiar with Professor Albert Mehrabian and his oft misrepresented ‘Communications Model’ (I won’t go into the ‘misquotes’ here!). His model illustrates that it’s not just the words that we speak that convey a message. At Speak The Speech we regularly refer to, and work with, the power of non-verbal communication, and we’re acutely aware of the mighty power of language.
Our ‘Winning Bids’ workshop in particular looks at how important it is to identify specifically what is important to the ‘Buyer’ and to use language that appeals to him / her / them. That way, you’re really putting their needs first – and who doesn’t want to do business with someone who has ‘you’ as the focus of their attention?
It IS how you tell it
Since time immemorial, Mankind has relied on storytelling (story-singing) as a way of conveying messages. Never ones to shun a time proven strategy, we at Speak The Speech actively encourage storytelling and will share with you lots of ideas about how to make your bids compelling and memorable.
In this post Brexit world, the ability to convince others will, we think, become ever more essential. Click on the following link and have a look at our ‘Winning Bids’ workshop Winning Bids . Let us help you prepare for success.
Laughter – the best medicine
Humour can be great when it comes to rapport building. We’ll show you how to harness the strength of a giggle! For more information, hints and tips, keep up with us on social media - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Talking of humour – it took me a while to realise that Mum wasn’t telling people her neighbour’s wife came from the Lebanon and that Pearl Gray wasn’t someone she knew with body odour, but rather Earl Grey tea that she thought was smelly!
In super fond memory of my lovely Mum – Joan Gladys Nickoll (26:09:29 to 15:06:16). “… rest in peas, Mum xx …”
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