Monday, August 8, 2011

Change Communication

"Your words are your most powerful tool. There is nothing more powerful than hearing someone say, I love you or (dramatic pause) I hate you."

I said this today during a training seminar on customer service. I was spending four hours with one company to help them understand this imperative. We had gotten to the section where I was emphasizing communication and I spoke those words.

And, it was as if I were speaking to myself (which I do sometimes, most of the time, OK - all the time!). I realized that my words are my most powerful tool, but they are yours as well.

When you communicate with others, the words you choose to use can either motivate or defeat someone. Those words can inspire or infuriate. Those words can evoke or emote. Those words can attack or embrace. The words - your words are powerful.

Most people don't think about the words they choose. Most people don't realize the power behind their words, their message (I only had this A-HA today). Most people don't know that by choosing the right words they can create, instill, initiate, and shape CHANGE.

Change was Obama's word and, like him or not, you can't argue that he built a campaign on that one word. It was the right word at the right time in a world that needed hope that something new could be promised, that something would, that's right, change.

So what are you promising?
What words are you choosing to use to deliver your message?
What words do you use when you parent, teach, lead, sell, serve or tweet?
Do you think about those words before you use them?
Do you choose them wisely?

NO?! I'm not surprised.

Being a writer, speaker, and trainer, I must constantly think about the words I choose when transferring my message to an audience. Not every word will be powerful - but if I can make a few of them, just a few, more powerful than the others, I can inspire action. I can inspire change. I'm in the business of change - change to know more, to sell more, to serve better, to be the best.

What's my secret to change communication?

1. The Package. Put your message in a box, wrap it with beautiful paper, place a bow on top, and put a gift label on it. That's how to present a gift to someone. Why wouldn't you present your message in the same way? Put your message in a clear and concise box. Wrap the message into a creative presentation (hello theme!). Place a WOW! word bow on top. And right before you end your message, address it to a specific person or audience. A properly packaged message that's personalized is more likely to grab their attention and get them to start to entertain a change. That's the power of message packaging.
2. The Passion. Passion is directly tied into the belief that you have in your message. When you truly believe in what you are trying to transfer over to the listener, you'll naturally exude passion. I am passionate about BAD customer service. I am passionate about asking powerful questions in sales. I am passionate about changing your attitude. I am passionate about helping other people become their best. This passion backs my message and puts some OOMPF! into my delivery. Passion is contagious and when it catches it creates change. That's the power of passion.
3. The Pause. There is nothing more powerful or painful in delivering a talk than a pause. Those moments when you allow the words you so carefully chose to sink in. Those are the precise moments when your audience will soak it all in and consciously decide to (hopefully) change. That's the power of the pause.

You have the power.

You have the power to choose your words with precision and purpose.
You have the power to deliver the package, the passion and the pause.
You have the power to change communication.

I’m your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista, how may I help you help yourself?

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, please visit or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email or by calling 704-333-1112.


  1. Great post Stephanie! I could not have said it better.(only different):)

  2. Great message Stephanie. Too many people promote the company message and not a message to the audience. You are not talkig to a group of people, but rather to a group of many individuals. So, the message must be to each individual in a group setting.

  3. I mean all your advice is just recycled from someone else. I guess those who can't do, teach....

  4. WOW! Thank you for the reminder. We are in control of our behavior and our words. Well said!

  5. As "Anonymous" said, "I guess those who can't do, teach..." after having obviously read your Blog entry for Monday, August 8th, I would like to rephrase that comment. "Some choose to do, some to teach, neither being greater in their interdependence!"
    Perfect example would be in sports. Some of the greatest coaches of all time were not Hall of Fame players, however, without those coaches, some Hall of Fame players would have been ordinary. We all play our part and none can succeed without the other.

  6. It's a decent post, but it's difficult for me to wrap my arms around a message from someone who has no sales experience and claims to be a "Sales Barista." Learning from Jeffrey doesn't mean you've been in the sales trenches. Gitomer was in sales, and I've seen him in person many times, so he brings more credibility to the table. Stephanie, perhaps that is an issue you would care to address to help your message going forward....not for me, but to help you. Thanks.

  7. Come on...
    "There is nothing more powerful or painful in delivering a talk then a pause."
    How about "than a pause"?

  8. So, according to "Anonymous" (funny how they won't claim their words) Stephanie’s post is somehow diminished in its accuracy and/or power by her supposed lack of experience (why, because she is young?) along with a meaningless grammatical error that has no real impact on the message, you know, since we all knew what was meant here. As for recycled thoughts, words, ideas and phrases, Hollywood makes billions (with a B) on this simple yet effective "repackaging" strategy. Not everyone tunes in to the “package” in the same way, get it?

    Fact is, it is quite easy to fall to criticism of others when you have nothing going for yourself, or have too much "free" time. If you can't find anything of value in Stephanie's post I’d say your lack of understanding is only eclipsed by your tiny imagination.

    "Anonymous", go watch some TV, please and leave the potential positive growth to the adults.

  9. Diminished in power Burt due to a lack of experience...not age. Read the message and age is never mentioned. It has to do with experience and credibility. Would you listen to a brain surgeon give you advice but has never been in the OR? The message also had nothing to do about being negative or bringing people down. It is a suggestion on how one might improve. If credibility and experience mean nothing in your line of work....more power to you.

  10. Stephanie, I just wanted to say "thanks" for the message. The comments prompted me to look up your bio and... voila! I learned more about your background! Good for you working as a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association. I'm sure the experience has been invaluable.

    I'm one who believes that everyone is in sales... some just get paid more for it than others. While the idea that words are powerful is not necessarily new, you put a fresh face on the valuable lesson. Plus it's one worth repeating more often than most others.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there to share ideas with others!

  11. WOW! What a discussion.
    I appreciate everyone's comments - both the positive and the critical.

    TO Anonymous - Thank you for proving my point: "Not every word will be powerful - but if I can make a few of them, just a few, more powerful than the others, I can inspire action." Hundreds, possibly thousands of people read my article and yet you are one of the few who took the time to make not one, but multiple comments. I inspired you to action.