Get rid of the trendy catch phrases!!! They annoy the hell out of people and you will be tuned out in a heart beat. Here are some examples of phrases to trash:
Absolutely! (Did you get a job? Absolutely!) – Ding Dong, is anyone
home?! This is a simple yes or no answer! Absolutely ≠ Yes
Chime-in (I’d like to chime-in) – What are you, a clock?
The good news is… – Now you think you’re a reporter!? Go see a shrink
and when you come back, start saying fortunately instead of pretending to
be a reporter!
Pluralizing a name (…the Enrons of the world) – There is only one of these
Einstein! Just say, “companies like Enron… ”
Push back (we are getting a lot of push back on that idea) – This sounds
like what happens when you have to #2 but can’t get to the toilet. Is the
word resistance too hard?
I’m here to tell you… – It is a good thing you told me why you are here, I
was starting to wonder.
Radar screen (That’s not on my radar screen.) – What are you an air traffic
Let me (let me tell you something) – Do you need my permission to speak?
The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
So, like, why am I saying “um”?
Why do we use filler words? The simplest answer is that we have been conditioned to answer questions immediately from an early age. When our mother or father asked us a question, we were sure to answer right away—either because we wanted to show respect or because we were afraid of what would happen if we didn’t answer. Consequently, we feel the urge to speak when spoken to.
The next time you are asked a question, take a couple seconds to think about what you want to say. This pause serves two important purposes: it will help you begin powerfully, and it will help you avoid using a filler word. Pause, think, answer.
The same public speaking technique applies when you are transitioning from one idea to another. While you may be tempted to fill the silence between ideas with a filler word, remember to pause and give yourself a moment to think about what you want to say next. It is important that you don’t begin speaking until you are ready.Remember: Pause, think, answer.
It may feel unnatural to pause, especially since you have responded to questions right away for your entire life. I assure you that you will deliver more powerful responses and reduce your chance of using filler words if you give yourself time to think.
How many times have you listened to speakers and thought – what are they talking about? Or - I have no idea what the are saying because they are talking in circles? For me, it’s I can listen to this person for one more minute! You can’t just get up in front of people and basically vomit what you are going to say – because people will just get covered in confusion.
Clarify your message by the rule of 3′s Every message should have 3 basic points – if you have more than 3 points then your message is confusing and painful to a listeners ears! You need 3 bullets – key words that paint a picture for your audience. Remember you audience has thousands of messages in their minds – so you have to be competitive for brain space.
Sometimes a speaker just stinks! The talk is so boring that you think you are going to go out of y our mind. You fidget, daydream, text, or just keep a constant frown on your face!
Yet, this is the time to learn and grow as a speaker because they are teaching you in real time all the things not to do! Does the audience look board, what is the demographic of the audience. Observe the speakers body language – what does that do to the reaction from the audience? Figure out how you would speak better!
Sometimes speakers just stink – which can only make you smell like roses!