The way you speak has a significant impact on what others think about you. If you use improper grammar or if you use fillers – such as “like,” “you know” and “kind of” – on a frequent basis, others will find it to be quite distracting. Even worse, it may cause others to think less of you. Clearly, whether you are building personal or professional networks, your reputation matters. So, if you have a problem with using verbal fillers on a regular basis, it is in your best interest to find ways to break yourself from this bad habit. To that end, here are a few tips to help you improve the way you communicate when you are talking to others face-to-face.
Tip #1: Give Yourself Time to Think
Generally speaking, we use verbal fillers as a way of pausing in order to give our brains time to think about what we want to say next. Instead feeling the need to fill this void with words, allow yourself to simply pause as you consider what to say next. You might want to consider simply taking a deep breath at this point, which can help you to slow down both your thoughts and your rate of speech. Not only will this give you the time that you need to think, but a well-timed pause can actually help to draw in the listener while giving your message a greater impact.
Tip #2: Come Prepared
When you know you are going to be put into a situation where you will be carrying on conversations with others or giving some sort of speech, whether formal or informal, come prepared with plenty of information to share. If you have valuable information to share, people will naturally listen to what you have to say. Furthermore, when you are well-prepared, you feel more confident and are less likely to feel the need to fill the void with verbal fillers. On the flip side, don’t come packed with so much information to share that you feel as though you have to rush through to cover it all. Feeling the pressure to cover a certain amount of material frequently leads to the addition of more verbal fillers as the brain tries to keep up with the mouth.
Tip #3: Use Shorter Sentences
As you speak with others, practice using short, succinct sentences instead of longer sentences filled with unnecessary words. Simple, forceful sentences have a greater impact and are less likely to lead to verbal fillers as you lose track of the message you are trying to convey.
Tip #4: Join Organizations
If you are really serious about getting your speech habits under control, you might want to consider joining an organization that focuses on speaking. One example would be Toastmaster International, which is known for helping its members develop more competent communication skills. One way this is accomplished is by providing evaluations, part of which involves telling you how frequently you use verbal fillers while speaking. This helps to increase self-awareness as you track your progress. The organization also offers opportunities for public speaking, which will further help to hone your skills.
Tip #5: Ask a Friend
If you are unable or unwilling to join a professional organization, you may want to simply ask a trusted friend to keep track of your verbal fillers. This person can monitor your progress over a period of time to help you with reducing the amount of verbal fillers you use.
Whether you are trying to establish a more professional demeanor to build your professional network, or just trying to kick a verbal habit, addressing your tendency to use verbal fillers can help. Southern California is home to many budding businesses, so it is essential to keep these tips in mind. If it is your career that has brought you to this region, contact our team of luxury property real estate agents. We specialize in the area’s most exclusive communities and can help you feel at home.
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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)
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