Two Annoying Speech Patterns That Weaken Our Message.

Just as nails on a chalkboard can set your teeth on edge, so can habitual verbal tics annoy listeners. Even in casual conversation, when we speak, we want to hold our audience’s attention. If we keep using an annoying speech pattern, we derail their focus and have to work harder to regain their interest.

Two verbal tics have crept into many interviews, conversations, and meetings:

I mean….” Pay attention to how many speakers start every response with these two words. 

“So….” This small word has become the go-to way to start almost any sentence. (It can be used as a conjunction or an adverb.)

These filler words weaken our speech and dilute our message. 

To break this habit, speakers in any setting, business or casual, first need to become aware they are doing this. Next, ask someone to point out whenever you use these crutch words. You can record yourself to identify issues. Finally, when speaking, if you feel you are about to fall back on one, pause, take a breath, and then proceed without them. It takes practice, but it is achievable.

Your listeners will notice the improvement.