That made you stop in your tracks, didn’t it?! It was meant to.

It’s incredible how two little letters and one syllable – that arguably don’t even constitute a ‘real’ word – can generate such an immediate response.

We can communicate a lot in just one syllable.

We use ‘oi’ to tell someone or something to stop what they are doing with some urgency and no small hint of annoyance. Whether we’re trying to rescue the sofa cushions from the cat, prevent a thief from escaping, or ensure that we get to speak with someone before they leave, a loud ‘oi’ usually does the trick of catching their attention. Once we have done that, we can move on to communicating the reason behind the ‘oi’. Those two letters are a powerful little tool.

Big-hitting little words

Little words make up for their size with bucket-loads of attitude.

Try using ‘now’ on its own without it sounding like a demand, or ‘help’ without it becoming an urgent plea for assistance.

Single words are strong and powerful – they mean a lot and say a lot without waffle. Consider a simple ‘yes’ in relation to a marriage proposal or a firm ‘no’ to end an argument.

Huge impact; tiny words.

How to use attention-seeking words

Using words efficiently can make it easier to get your messages across – whether in business or in life.

One word might not always be enough, but less can very definitely be more.

Before you get to start a conversation, you need to grab your audience’s attention. Much like with the first line of a book, if the first few words of an email or article don’t spark their interest or imagination, the audience is unlikely to make any further effort.

Long, rambling opening sentences are liable to make readers tune out, so something short and punchy can be much more effective.

The sole point of the first word or sentence is to make your audience want to read the next one. If you can achieve that, then you have a much better chance of them acknowledging and engaging with the messaging that follows.

Top tip

Say less to communicate more.

Give your audience everything they need and strip out everything that they don’t. Grab their attention and make it quick and easy for them to find the information they are looking for.

They will thank you for it.

Know when to stop

All good things must come to an end, even blog posts and customer communications.

Until next time, I share with you the only two words that seem appropriate in the circumstances.

The End.