Ten tips on using the power of the spoken word

These "ten tips on using the positive power of the spoken word" are to remind ourselves our words matter.

Everything we say, or think, has the potential to either heal or harm. Our words can destruct or construct, be positive or negative.

Words graphic - thought and speech bubble filled with words.

However, whatever choice we make, to harm or heal, it is never the words themselves directly causing the outcome. Words, simply 'are'. It is how we use, and what we bring or associate with them, creating the end result.

Because the words we speak either aloud, or in the privacy of our minds, embody our intentions, they are a carrier of ourselves, our energy. And as you know we can have good, bad or indifferent word moments or even days.

Most of us will have experienced the negative power of the spoken word. It can color our personal lives and ripple far beyond us to affect everything and everybody. That is why "Ten Tips on the Using the Positive Power of the Spoken Word" is vital.

As a single individual we maybe powerless to change the world but we can change ourselves. We can make a choice to pass on negativity or positivity in our speech. Our words do matter. They are powerful.

Try and see for yourself.

10 tips on using the power of the spoken word

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1. Practice compliments
Give unasked for praise for an action or some quality you genuinely admire in another person. Give it without reservation or a "rider" attached.

(A rider undoes or qualifies the compliment, robbing it of its power. Example: "That dress looks nice on you. It makes you look smaller.")

A true compliment is a gift. It says to the receiver you see and appreciate them for who they are and comes without strings attached. It is given freely.

2. Read aloud to a child
Choose a story book to share. Settle in and enjoy yourself. Reading aloud to a child has many positive benefits. For the child it will help develop reading skills and imagination but most importantly, it is a gift of your time and energy. It says you are valuable and worthy of my attention. For you, the reader, the quality of your relationship, and your vocal variety, is enhanced.

Be careful of how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.

3. Practice positive self-talk
As you go about your day's activities be conscious of how you are talking to yourself in your mind.

Find aspects of your behavior you can genuinely positively comment on. Be specific. The more specific you are the less likely you will counter your positive comment with a negative rejoinder.

Practice graciously accepting your own compliments.

4. Make a list of positive power words or phrases
Write them out. Post them where you will see them. Say them out loud.

5. Practice responding rather than reacting
The difference? To react is to speak without thought or to blurt. To respond implies conscious thought. In responding, we make a choice. We think before we open our mouths.

To help create the space needed for conscious speech, count to 5 before speaking. This may seem odd, but in an emotionally charged situation, the wait gives us time to consider what it is we really want to say.

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6. Learn to say "I'm sorry"
The quicker we own our mistakes and acknowledge the impact they've had on others, the less likely they are to turn into raging monsters with a life of their own. "I'm sorry", genuinely meant and said is one of the most important of these ten tips on using the positive power of the spoken word.

7. Learn to say and receive "I forgive you"
If we accept or give a sincere apology, the sting of the offense is removed.

Sometimes we carry blame, guilt, or anxiety for years because we assume the hurt caused by our actions lives on. If we'd been told we were forgiven, the burden would have been released. Like "I'm Sorry", "I forgive you" is incredibly powerful.

8. Collect new words
The more words you have in your vocabulary, the more precisely you can express yourself.

You'll find a wonderful collection of fun ways to increase your word power here.

9. Listen to inspiring literature
Get audio books for your car or ipod. Fill your mind with positivity expressed in the best of language.

10. Practice expressing genuine gratitude for all the good in your life
Thank you is simple to say. Thank you for food, thank you for friends, love, family, the sun on my back ...

Do you want to help a child grow in self confidence and learn to "voice" themselves powerfully and positively in the world?

These Speech & Drama activities are especially chosen to develop positive self esteem in children.
They are suitable for kindergarten to 8-9 yr. olds but are easily adapted for older children too. Have fun with them!

Give yourself the gift of positive thinking

As a Man Thinketh - James Allen

Would you like a free e-book classic on the power of thought?

James Allen's "As a Man Thinketh" is widely regarded as a major influence in the development of contemporary self-improvement regimes, including Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking". The core of his teaching is: What you think, you become. You can download 'As a Man Thinketh' here. It's small and easily read.