Avoid Weasel Words In Your Pitches To Sound More Credible

Avoid Weasel Words In Your Pitches To Sound More Credible

Weasels, as an animal, are surprisingly cute. As filler words for your pitches (or your resume), however, weasel words can undermine you more than help you.

Photo by Jessi Swick.

As productivity author Seth Godin points out, “weasel words” are words that artificially inflate your claims without really saying anything. It’s the writing equivalent of cropping a photo to avoid the pile of garbage just outside the frame. Godin gives a few examples:

Promotional weasel words. Every experienced marketing copywriter knows how to use them. “As much as half off,” means, “There is at least one item on sale for half of some price of dubious origin. Everything else is any price we want it to be.”

When you say, “nearly 500,” it’s a totally different message than, “500.” Words like, “renowned,” “fabled,” and “deluxe” are weasely. They let you wriggle out of your promise.

When you’re trying to beef up your resume or make your pitch sound more catchy, focus on the claims you can actually substantiate, rather than dressing up an average claim in buzzwords. Not only will the person listening probably see through your tricks, but rephrasing your claims to sound cool is a trick anyone can do. It doesn’t help you stand out nearly as much as you think it does.

Unweasonable [Seth Godin]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.