How to get rid of parasitic words and involuntary sounds that clog your speech? We present to your attention several ways.
You have studied all the information on the topic, prepared a brilliant speech and dressed appropriately, however, when you are in front of the audience, you find that instead of the desired impression you are just getting bored. Maybe the problem is in the words-parasites?
"Ummm", "as if", "here", "well, in general" - the audience immediately becomes uncomfortable for the speaker, and he sharply loses his authority in her eyes.
A person who clings to words-parasites gives the impression of tongue-tied and even insufficiently competent.
"When you overuse these words, pouring them into your speech, it feels like you're not well prepared, " says Paula Statman, a public speaking coach based in Oakland, California.
She is often visited by those who have received a promotion and want their voice to sound weighty - according to the position held.
However, according to her, most people do not even notice that they fill the pauses with speech junk and that this spoils their communication style.
However, not all is lost. Experts believe there are ways to get rid of unnecessary words and sounds and make your speech clear and clear.
Diagnosis is half the battle
However, the problem cannot be solved in five minutes. Getting rid of the parasite words can take several months.
First, many do not even realize that certain words are not needed. Of course, most people understand that empty mooing is best avoided, but see that "yes?" or "here" at the end of a sentence is also unnecessary ballast, much more difficult.
In addition, unnecessary words often appear when a person is immersed in an active thought process, so it is not so easy to notice them in their own speech - experts in public speaking warn about this.
Not sure if you are susceptible to this speech ailment? Ask a colleague or friend to clap their hands every time you hum or use a parasite word.
The clapping method may seem a little odd at first, but it's an excellent way to see how we clog our speech.
Try to practice it in an informal setting - and you will quickly understand what your speech sins are, which means it will be easier for you to take care of yourself in situations where it is really important to sound convincing - for example, at a work meeting.
"We are so used to our own speech patterns that we often do not notice them, " explains Stephen Cohen, assistant professor of communication at the University of Baltimore, USA.
A more advanced way is to record yourself on a smartphone video camera, in order to then evaluate how much garbage is in your speech and at what moments it appears.
As you review the post, pay attention to what words you use and how your facial expression changes.
“Speaking a parasite word often makes a person look embarrassed or lacks confidence in his voice, ” says John Bates, a speaker at a Los Angeles speaker coach that has clients like NASA and Accenture.
A spectacular pause
Most resort to words-parasites when the thought does not keep pace with the speech.
Try allowing yourself to pause for one or two seconds instead - it makes a much more favorable impression on the listener.
That is, the next time you need time to formulate a thought, just stop for a couple of seconds.
“You have to teach yourself that a long pause is normal, that you will not lose the attention of the interlocutor or their respect, ” says Statman.
In addition, this pause will be useful for your listeners to assimilate what has already been said - most people process information slower than you verbalize it.
In addition to pause, the ability to focus on the conversation is also important - distractions can knock you out of your mind and make it difficult to find the right word, Bates adds.
This means that it is better to postpone the smartphone for the duration of the conversation. You will also have time to look on the Internet later. Immerse yourself in the entire conversation.
Difficulties in public speaking
Another important point is learning how to deal with your anxiety. Just admit that you are nervous before an important meeting or conversation, and this alone will reduce the stress level - which means that the number of parasitic words in your speech will also decrease.
"Noticing to yourself that you're a little tense can help shift the focus from yourself to the audience, " says Bates.
Then, instead of worrying about how you are perceived, you can focus directly on what you are saying.
"Learn to recognize the places where you want to insert a" placeholder "in time to anticipate this impulse, " advises Cohen.
Most often, words and sounds-parasites occur at the beginning or end of a sentence, or when moving from one thought to another.
Paying special attention to your speech at times like this will help you resist the temptation to insert an extra word.
Speaking with a report, a person most often uses words-parasites in the introduction, conclusion and the most difficult parts of his report. Do not try to memorize the entire text, but pay special attention to these parts.
Having confidence in your own words helps reduce the number of unnecessary sounds and words, Cohen explains.
"Confidence depends on the degree of preparation and on how satisfied we are with our own performance."
There are, however, cases where speech fillers are not harmful.
Interspersing your phrases with phrases like "like" can help you build closer contact with your coworkers because your speech will sound more natural and less formal.
Statman recommends not getting rid of parasite words completely, but throwing out about 90%, leaving the rest - primarily for informal conversations with colleagues.
"People like it when their interlocutor takes a lively part in the conversation, and this is often associated with the use of speech fillers, " she explains.
Learning to pause and speak with confidence can take years, says one of Bates' clients - Leslie Stoltz, head of JLabs, a research center for Johnson & Johnson.
In total, she has been working on her speech for 18 years, but it is the words-parasites that are still difficult to control.
At the dawn of her career, she barely managed to eradicate speech junk in rehearsed speeches, but she did not notice how much of it remains in conversations with colleagues or contractors.
“I’m negotiating important deals, and parasitic words get in the way, ” she admits. “You have to go back to working on yourself all the time.”