Cut the Strings

From my book, PLUSPLUS – Patterns for Better Communication: (you can get your copy at Amazon)
“Dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago. I knew that. But did you know how many years dinosaurs populated this planet?
165,000,000 years.
Once I was reading Mark Twain’s classic Letters from the Earth, and found another number that made me think a lot. When we look at the sky at night, we see bazillions of stars — 300 sextillion (more or less) by the latest estimates. But light takes time to travel. If we could travel at light speed, 299,792,458 meters per second, it would take 3.6 years to reach the solar system that’s closest to us.
Aren’t we small?
So there is absolutely no need at all to make ourselves even smaller — but that’s exactly what we do all the time, both in everyday communication and on stage.
99⅓% of all business presentations in Spain start like this:
Hoy vamos a hablar un poco de nuestra empresa.
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about our company. Hey! Wait just a minute — what do you mean, A little bit? ¡¿¡A little bit ? ! ?
Your company is your passion, your life, your future — why would you want to talk about it a little bit?
I refer to things like this as ‘message reducers’, and our vocabulary simply teems with them.
A little bit, little, small, short, simple, simply, quick, quickly, hopefully, probably, potentially, basically, actually, perhaps, maybe, could, should, would, ought to, think, believe, guess, try, want, pretty much, kind of, sort of, rather, quite —
The list goes on — and on — and on. We are all world champions when it comes to diminishing our message — and ourselves.
Stop it!“ Cut the strings.