Watch Out for the Word 'Actually'
When I hear the word “actually” in a presentation, my "BS detector" goes on high alert. While true in all presentations, the alarm bells ring very high when the word is used in a software demonstration.
- “You can actually pay your bill with one button click.”
- “You can actually see your logo with no effort.”
- “You can actually see all the results in two seconds.”
- “You can actually pick which vendors you want to display.”
- “You can actually…."
Yes, in each of these cases you likely can do what the presenter is telling you you can do. Thus, the word "actually" is not necessary. I am not a grammarian by a long stretch, but I can tell you the word is rarely needed. Thus, your alarm bells should be going off when you hear the word “actually.”
In fact, when I hear the presenter say “actually,” there is almost always something not quite true about what they are saying. They are emphasizing the ability because they are usually hiding some piece of information that they are uncomfortable with.
Bottom line: If you hear the word "actually" in a presentation, start asking questions. If you are using the word "actually" in your presentations, ask yourself why.