Mar 16 2023
How Do You Repeat Yourself Without Sounding Repetitive?
Repetition gets a bad rap, because, in many instances, we don’t want to insult someone because it can come off as sounding condescending. And or we don’t want to repeat ourselves for fear that we will be boring or annoying. These are completely valid feelings. We’ve suffered at the hands of boring, condescending, and annoying people. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Understanding why, when and how to use repetition will help both you and your audience move the learning process along faster. Let’s start with when we use repetition. We use repetition when we want others to remember what we say. We want to use repetition frequently when we’re leading and teaching, especially in the early stages, when we’re trying to help someone master new concepts or skills. Why is repetition so effective? Because it helps reinforce new info, making it more memorable. Remembering, storing information in short term memory, is key to learning. If we can’t remember it, we didn’t learn it. So, if you want people to remember what you said, you’re going to have to get comfy with repetition. Here's how it works in our brains…when we repeat, we are reinforcing the neural pathways in our brains responsible for that information. Over time, these neural pathways become stronger and more efficient, just like if you walked a new path repeatedly, making it easier for use to recall. Ok now that we know why repetition is so important, let’s talk about how we can repeat without sounding boring, annoying, or condescending. 1.) Use synonyms. Synonyms are words that mean the same (or close to the same thing). For example, instead of saying “very good” you could say “excellent or “outstanding”. 2.) Change your sentence structure. This will add contrast and keep your listeners listening. For example, “changing your sentence structure adds contrast while you’re repeating information” and “In order to sound less repetitive, change your sentence structure!”3.) Use transition phrases. These are phrases that connect one thought to the next. For example… “in addition to”, “on the other hand”, “however”4.) Use anecdotes, analogies, and metaphors. Anecdotes are short stories that relate to your topic, real examples that enhance meaning. Analogies compare to similar things… “toxic workplace is like a dysfunctional family.”, Metaphors are a type of analogy that make a comparison where there may not be one at it’s up to the listener to formulate one “e.g. boil the ocean” or “time is money.” So, there you have it. We use repetition when we want others to remember what we say and when we’re teaching new concepts or skills. Why is it so effective? Because it helps us remember. How do we avoid sounding boring, annoying, or condescending? By using synonyms, changing our sentences, using transition phrases and anecdotes, analogies, and metaphors. This episode was edited and produced by Jenn Edds, the head broad in charge at the Brassy Broadcasting Company. Sign up for my weekly newsletter here. Connect with me on LinkedIn Alex Perry Instagram @pswithalex Schedule a time to talk with me here.