Some would say that maybe is a weak word for public speakers. It lacks confidence, and shouldn’t be uttered from the stage.
I’m here to confess my undying love for the word.
I love saying maybe when speaking, as much as I love hearing it in others’ talks.
- Maybe conveys humility. The word acknowledges that there are other voices, other valid opinions out there. You might not have the whole truth, but you’re adding to the discussion.
- Maybe lets you make a strong point in a soft way.
- Maybe leaves room for error (see #1).
- Maybe is suggestive. Nobody likes to be told what to do. Much like it’s sibling phrase what if, using maybe opens the door of possibility, but lets your audience walk through it themselves. If you’re not forcing your application point down their throats, they might be more likely to take ownership of the discovery they make on the other side.
Maybe the next time you’d like to lead your audience to a new discovery, use the word maybe.