Are there words or phrases you use too much?
A friend told me she and some of her colleagues recently attended a presentation by a person whom they knew used, “Umm,” “Ahh” and “Urr” between comments.
During the presentation they kept score, marking a page each time they heard the sounds. It’s a fun game to play but distracts the listeners from the real purpose of the presentation or meeting. The high score was 32 in a relatively short presentation.
Ask a trusted colleague to be aware of—and tell you about—your overuse of certain words.
We all have friends who overuse “like” or “whatever” or “it is what it is.” Many years ago my grandmother stopped me in the middle of a story and said, “Mike, you say, ‘You know’ a lot. Did you know that?” I immediately became more conscious of the habit, started noticing how many of my friends used the term, and stopped overusing it.
After awhile it becomes easy for listeners to be distracted from the focus of our comments by the overuse of throwaway words.