Instantly sound more trustworthy by dropping these words.

I love words. I understand, value and utilize the power they each hold. As a professional creative, I prescribe words like a doctor prescribes medicine. People hire me to find the right words to make their brands, products and services sound as attractive as possible.

Just as words have the power to make people, places and things sound more attractive, they can also make them sound uglier. I know which words make me sound like me is dumb. And I know which words make you sound pervy.

In America, we constantly introduce new words and phrases into our banter to see what sticks. Some of these are interesting and innovative (Emoji, FOMO, Photobomb). Some of them are moronic  (Totes, Obvi). Either way, blame Kanye.

Today, there are two unfortunate phrases that are clinging to conversations like cockleburs on corduroy.  If they haven’t arrived in your neck of the cell tower yet, they are coming. I’m referring to the increased use of, “To be honest’ and her twin sister, ” To tell you the truth”.  I know deep down you know this, but when you tack these unnecessary qualifiers onto any other statement, you have told the person on the receiving end of the statement, “Usually I lie to you.’ Or ‘Most of the time I just make up shit without verifying.’

At The Perfect Agency Project we are especially concerned about removing these phrases from business. We don’t want your salespeople or customers support staff dropping, ‘If I’m being honest’ or ‘To be completely truthful’ on your customers and potential clients.  This undermines the trustworthiness bestowed upon your brand. And that will end up costing both you and I real money.

Please coach your team out of using these phrases. You can do that by sharing this post. Or you could do what I do when people drop these phrases on me. I respond immediately to the errant statement with, “Thank you for being honest with me.” The response I get is always very WTF-y. Because people are not thinking about what they are saying.  But I want you to. I want you to sound smart. And trustworthy. And professional. But, hey, It’s all good.*

*’It’s all good’ has been rated as the funniest cocklebur-phrase of all-time by The Perfect Agency Project. Because it is almost always used in instances where something, if not everything, is not good at all.

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Hello. Who wants to play Adele Roulette?

You’d have to be living in a connectivity-free prepper bunker right now to not know that Adele’s new album release, 25, is the hottest thing since global warming. Because even though we live in an era when people don’t buy music anymore Adele has sold 5 million albums in just 3 weeks. This uber-talented singer is everywhere. TV, radio, online, magazine, newspapers, billboards (I saw 3 giant Adele-faced billboards on one block on the sunset strip in Hollywood last week). I even check the shower before I get in each morning to make sure Adele’s not in there.

At The Perfect Agency Project we are always looking for opportunities to take advantage of culture phenomenon. And if we can rope in our favorite technologies to expand the fun, even better. So we’ve created a social game called Adele Roulette to ride the Tsunami that is Adele 25.

Here’s how you play:

1. Create a group of at least two people. Use your social network to play with people all over the country or all over the world. I like to ask people on Facebook or Twitter to RSVP to my game invitations with a simple “Hello”.

2. Pick a start time. First thing in the morning is always a good way to play.

3. Once the game starts, see who can go the longest without encountering anything Adele related. Once you hear an Adele song, see a picture of her, hear someone talk about her, read about her, or hear someone sing one of her songs you are eliminated.

4. You then have to message your group through Facebook, Twitter, text or whatever other digital connective tissue you are using to tell the team you’re out. Then make sure to describe the circumstances of your elimination.

4. The last person un-Adeleified is the winner.

The games tend to go fast. And the eliminations are unpredictable. I’ve been eliminated by my daughter singing Hello in the car (which was a particularly surprising audio shot to that back of my head). Terry Bradshaw eliminated another friend of mine on Sunday during NFL pre-game activities. Yet another friend was taken out by an online video of a toddler singing Hello while strumming a cardboard guitar. Sharing the assassination stories is the best part of the game.

So let’s give Adele Roulette a whirl. If you’ve read this far consider yourself part of my next game. And respond to this post with your elimination story. Good luck my friends. You’re going to need it.