Avoid Platitudes Like the Plague

“Let’s give them something to talk about.” – Bonnie Raitt song lyricbonnnie

I recently spoke at a conference where two co-authors shared their findings after taking 2 years to interview people who were at the top of their profession.

They then revealed their list of the 10 defining qualities that made these individuals different.

The list included listening, managing emotions, persistence, having a community, etc.


When we’re writing or speaking; it’s important to remind ourselves, “It’s not enough to be true. The question is … ’Is this new?”

If we’re going to ask people for their valuable time and mind; it is our responsibility to introduce something original.

Are you thinking, “There’s nothing new under that sun?”

Of course there is.

If people haven’t heard it before; it’s original … to them.

Veto that blog or book you’re about to write.

Review that presentation you’re about to give.

Is it obvious or original?

Does it introduce something provocative, timely, relevant and useful that people haven’t heard before?

If so, good for you.

If not, back to the drawing board.