“Ugh! I can’t stand to hear that person speak!” my friend, Sarah, said.
“What’s the difficulty?” I asked.
“Just about every other word, he says, ‘Um.’ It’s painful to hear,” she said.
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and MBA students.
Many people have some sort of verbal tic.
As a professional speaker (member of the National Speakers Association for over 18 years), I even avoid saying “um”—instead I say, “The u-m sound.”
I recently worked with someone who had a verbal tic of saying “so” and “and so.”
Here’s the process. Use these methods …
Have a friend tap a glass, every time, during rehearsal, that you make the verbal tic sound. Now, you’re alerted to the problem.
For many verbal tics, the useful replacement is to take a breath. Some people say “Um” or “Uh” as a reflex while they’re thinking of what they’ll say next. Instead, take a breath and pause in your speaking. Your audience often uses the pause to catch up in their thoughts about what you’ve said previously.
When you feel an urge to say “um” (or some other verbal tic), take a breath.
Here are specific replacements for the verbal tic of “and so”:
* The next step is…
* The reason is…
* Here’s something connected to that…
* I’ll add to that with …
Rehearsal is necessary, so you can become natural in your better ways of expressing yourself. The process is Act it until you become it.
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 45 books so far 🙂
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