I am a stickler for noting the errors that speakers make. I listen to a lot of talk radio and hear announcers and guests who need a tad more training. First – I am not perfect and am still working on slowing down, pausing and getting rid of the “uh” bug.
I’m not religious – but one passage I recall is: “Pluckest not the plank from your brother’s eye, until thou pluckest the plank from thine own.” Plank? That’s what it sez…speck makes more sense. The point is don’t criticize others until you get your act together. OK now I’ll throw some darts.
On to the info. When someone formally asks a question, often the first word the respondent says is “Well . . . “ another is “So . . .” Why not just answer the question without the crutch of having to wind-up and give those useless precedents?
READ: More Speaking tips
The classic that is used is “uh.” This very convenient crutch is is used by all of us one point of our speaking careers. Then we learn. We have people count the number of times we say “uh.” Toastmasters is famous for having a person count the number of times. I am getting way better at not saying it. “Uh” gives a half second to think about what you are going to say. The brain works that fast. Funny, but it becomes a crutch that we depend on. It’s a stalling tactic.
Even our leaders should know this. Listen to President Obama or Hillary Clinton. Yup…”uh” “uh.”
The best way to kick the habit is to record yourself speaking or better yet, video. Sit alone and YOU count the number. When you talk to buddies, avoid the “So” and “Well” in your answers.
You have others we should talk about? Fill in the Comments card and pass it forward.