😮‍💨 Exaggeration

Over-the-top statements make you sound less trustworthy

To show you are a credible voice, stay factual and use specific language to present ideas and arguments.

Illustration showing a person in pants who says, great, awesome, excellent, fantastic! All in upper case. A person in a skirt stands listening

Basic Example

Advanced Example

The best! The greatest! Loud messages are everywhere. We’re led to believe that joining the loud crowd will let us reach and convince readers. True, exaggeration grabs attention. It’s also likely to damage our credibility. Social-media savvy Generation Z is especially quick to see through over-the-top claims. Keeping our messaging honest and straightforward helps  people build trust and identify us as a reliable source.


Trust us with your brand. We build trust in your business.


Trust us with your brand. We’re the best in the business.

Doesn't resonate with

  • People working under time constraints, multi-tasking, or managing with a shorter attention span
  • People from diverse language backgrounds and people with different ways of processing language
  • People whose first language isn't English

Dig deeper

Dramatizing, embellishing, overstating, and hyperbole aim to draw attention, impress, and influence. But audiences know: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exaggerations give statements an untrue ring, and they expose an underlying intention - manipulation. And this can negatively affect first impressions. Research shows audiences can read intentions behind over-exaggerations without falling for them.
In a bid to attract talent, companies are tempted to use hyperbolic missives about their achievements. This bragging can deter people from applying. Because they doubt the company’s credibility – or feel they can’t measure up. Another drawback of exaggerations: They challenge people to prove us wrong. 
When we want to make a point or communicate an idea that we feel is important, we look for ways to amplify our message. When used judiciously, one well-placed exaggeration can help make our argument more memorable. Hyperbole has its place in making a story or statement entertaining. But if you want to connect and build relationships and trust in a business environment, understatement, verifiable arguments, and specific language are the way to go.

Figure: 76% of people surveyed see advertising as exaggerated. Source: Hubspot.com Herman Melville quote: The shadows of things are greater than themselves; and the more exaggerated the shadow, the more unlike the substance.

In other words

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