We do it hundreds of times a day when we speak. We fill those lapses in thought with vocal fillers; such as uh, hmm, you know, like—words and sounds that pepper our spoken statements. Speech coaches call them word whiskers, like little stray hairs that need to be shaved off our speech.
In hardball media interviews, they can buy time to formulate just the right answer. When uttered with frequency, they are undesirable distractions that erode the impact of a statement. The experienced spokesperson works on substituting word whiskers with strategic pauses that bring emphasis and weight to what they have to say.
Other elements of oral communication and vocal delivery that should be avoided are mumbling and slurring words together. Another is lazy speech, like saying ferinstead of for, gonna instead of going to, ta instead of to, and so on.
Good vocal delivery will enhance the audience’s perception of your competence, credibility and impact.
Watch the companion video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kstCPMV0XCs&feature=youtu.be
Throwback quote of the day:
“My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.” — Jimmy Durante