Monday, November 13, 2006

SPEAKER SAVVY -- The Wizard of "Ahs"

My hometown newspaper had an article on like, ah, all those, um, you know, bad speech habits. It's an interesting look at the annoying idiosyncrasies most speakers have, even during a prepared presentation. (Admission: my big problem is finishing a punch line or talking point with the word "so..." as in, "The 49ers have announced they're planning to move to a city that doesn't already have a pro football team--which means they could move to Oakland, so...")

I didn't know about my bad speech habit until one of my radio listeners mentioned to me. And that's the point of the article--it's good to have an outside observer really go over your speech with a fine tooth comb. Toastmasters use an "AH Master." Back in my high school public speaking class, Father Mott called it "The Wizard" (as in "The Wizard of Ah's".)

Whatever term you use, think about getting an accountability partner who'll gently remind you of all the ahs, ums, you knows,and likes to help keep your speaking content clean. (So...)

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