I was at lunch today with a long-time client, Diane. Per usual, the waiter shared the specials of the day. I asked him about the glazed salmon entrée. He smiled and enthusiastically recommended it. He then began describing the dish. As he did so, he mentioned the salmon was plated on a bed of “wilted spinach.”
Mentally, I stopped listening.
I wanted to be a bit of a wise guy and say, “I’d prefer my spinach fresh and crisp.” I held my tongue (smile).
Words are interesting, aren’t they? To me, wilted spinach is not the best choice of words. Now of course, I know what wilted spinach is and what it means. It means preparation, timing, and passion based on a certain way of preparing the spinach. To me and Merriam-Webster, the definition of Wilt is:
- To lose turgor from lack of water-the plants wilted in the heat
- To become limp
As communicators (marketing, public speaker, trainer, leader, professional), words are everything. It is your responsibility to ensure that what you speak, what you write, and what you post on social media does relate and does resonate with your stakeholders.
Ask yourself these three quick questions to see if you need to tweak or revise your content and messaging?
- Do we have content or messaging in our internal and external communication not generating the results we want (e.g., website, employee handbook, elevator speech/elevator pitch, mission statement, blog, newsletter and magazine, and social media accounts)?
- Are we aware of content or messaging that is or that might be confusing (not relate or resonate)?
- Have any of our stakeholders expressed confusion or misunderstanding? Did we deliberately address the issue either to leave the content as is or change it?
While Diane and I had a good laugh over the choice of words, what will you think of when you next hear, “wilted spinach?”
Photography Source: DepositPhotos