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What not to do: Don’t say “Don’t hesitate to contact me.”

There are a whole heap of things that we shouldn’t say or write when we’re communicating in business. I’m Michelle Bowden. I’m an authority on persuasive presenting in business, and welcome to What Not To Do. This is a video series designed to help you eliminate all those annoying little habits that you’ve picked up along the way.


One of the things that you shouldn’t say or write is, “Please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please don’t hesitate to leave me a message.” Why? Why is that not a good idea? Well, whatever you do right now, don’t think of a pink elephant. See, you’re thinking of one right now, aren’t you, a pink elephant?


When you say, “Please don’t hesitate to contact me or please don’t hesitate to leave me a message,” actually, your audience’s mind hears the word “hesitate”, not the word “don’t”. So really, what that’s doing unconsciously is sending a message that you don’t want them to leave a message, and you don’t want to talk to them.


There’s a much more positive way of saying that that exact same sentiment. Just say, “Please leave me a message, or please contact me, please reach out to me,” instead of saying, “Please don’t hesitate to contact me.” Be positive, be on the front foot, be passionate and persuasive in the way that you communicate.

Happy presenting!

© Michelle Bowden 2021.  Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), Creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media.

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