Repetition Can Be A Good Thing 

“Your call is important. Please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly.” After hearing that for the 27th time, it starts to become annoying, doesn’t it? NO, it simply drives you crazy. It even happens when you’re on a virtual chat. If you’re like me, you probably dream hearing it in your sleep. It might even become your worst nightmare.

Repetition can be monotonous – like having to make it through summer reruns on TV or listening to verbal filler such as “Like I said,” or “Did I tell you this already?” which occurs when not having enough to say or simply stumbling over your words. And  when it happens in conversation or during a presentation, it can detract from getting your point across. Some people don’t even realise they are doing it., And with Zoom you might even have to ask someone to repeat themselves because they we on mute.

However, when used effectively, repeating what you have to say can actually enhance your and reinforce the message.

In his famous speech, Martin Luther King Jr. not only used “I have a dream” as the speech’s title but kept repeating it strategically throughout the speech. King was using repetition to emphasize his message and to help create imagery in people’s minds every time they heard it.

In fact, the repetition added a rhythm to his delivery and combined with his effective pauses triggered an emotion and helped make it so memorable. This is true whether you were there, heard it on the radio or watched a replay on YouTube.

Repetition is also a great way can also be to help people commit something to memory. Songs take that 2 steps farther to the extreme. Take song lyrics for example.  After hearing a tune repeatedly, we unintentionally memorize them and the words become permanently engrained in our minds. It may also make us change the station.

When speaking, it is good to follow the old adage: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them what you told them. Repetition can also be used as a technique to recall a previously-made point or make reference to perhaps something another speaker had said.

Repetition can also indicate that something is particularly important; perhaps it’s the take-away, a key point or like that phone number, a reminder to act now. It’s also often used to help the listener with taking notes, like jotting down a date, an e-mail address or a phone number. That’s one reason you’ll often hear on a commercial for example – dial 1-888-777-1213 that’s 1-888-721-1213.  Please don’t dial that number – It’s just an example.

If used wisely, repetition can be an effective technique to have in your speaking arsenal and can be beneficial in both business and personal communication.

However, use it with caution. The last thing you want is for your listener to take it as a cue to tune out from boredom or to assume the rest of what you will say has already been said.

You need to pick out the choice morsels and decide what is actually needed to serve your purpose and no more.

As you’ve read many times while shampooing your hair, Repeat (but only) when necessary!

The syndicated edition of the article was previously published at Troy Media and affiliated syndicated sites.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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