Word Whiskers

Word whiskers are like flies in the soup of your fluid smooth flowing speech? They are called many names. How can you eliminate these word mannerisms from your vocabulary? If you know of any suggestions on how to eliminate them, please send in your suggestions if you would like to share.

Word Whiskers

These are the extra little phrases like little whiskers that need to be shaved off our speech. Words like 'uh,' 'an uh,' 'now,' 'and now,' 'and then,' and 'you see.' Many young people who have survived high school have a unique word whisker, using the word 'like' throughout their conversation.

It is like, they cannot complete a sentence, without, like, using the word like.

These are almost unconsciously added to each sentence or phrase. It detracts from the quality of the speech and the effectiveness of the speaker.

Do you know why we do it. Our brain is following it's programming. Actually it is a mental programming flaw telling us we must talk all the time. It is like our brain says, "If I am not talking, something must be wrong. Therefor I must talk, even if I have to say, ‘and uh.'"

This is not the same as overuse of words. Some radio and TV personalities have killed the word literally. They will literally use the word several times in what they are literally talking about. But that is another topic.

So the very thing we are programmed to do, be fluent, ends up being the cause of losing the smooth flow of thought within our speech.

Solution: First you have to want to change.

    Get a count of which word whisker you use and how many times (This is where neuro-lingusitic programming shines.)

    Write the word on top of your notes. Circle and put a diagonal cross line through it.

    Slow down in your speaking, when feeling the urge to say, ‘and uh,’ you simply pause.

    The second two of the above exercises are mental. They are to condition you and reprogram you to replace the word whiskers with something else. The circle with the universal NO sign is a visual reminder to help reprogram your brain.

    The slowing down and or using pausing, will effectively help you replace the uh’s, and uh, and other whiskers with a pause. Just pause and breathe when you find your self wanting to move on to the next thought.

Fluent Speech Mastery

    Mastering fluency is a process that is 80% mental and 20% physical.

    It is physical in that we use muscles of our mouth, face, throat and diaphragm. They too need to be reprogrammed for the speech to flow naturally. That programming comes automatically with the mental programming.

    Another way to accomplish this is within your mind imagine your self coming up to the point where you need to formulate the next thought.

    Picture or imagine yourself pause. Picture your audience having the moment to process what you just said. You, just breathe. Doing it for real or in your imagination is the beginning of the process to reprogram your brain. Picture yourself being programmed to be fluent.

And Now

    What if you need to reprogram the expression 'NOW' or 'and Now' or 'Like.'

    Different from ‘uh,’ the expression ‘Now’ at the end of a sentence or phrase is much harder to change. In this case, rather than fill in blank spaces between thoughts like “and uh,” the use of 'now' often happens at transitions. The same process can work. Conscious effort to rewrite the programming of the brain is what’s required. The brain needs to be reprogrammed for fluent speech.

How Do I Like, Stop Using the Word Like?

    Just as you can stop saying 'and now' in your talk, the process will work with 'like'. Conscious effort is necessary to rewrite the mental programming. Again, our brain needs to be reprogrammed for fluent speech.

    One way to re-write the programming in our brain is the using the Benny Goodman technique. Benny Goodman practiced playing the clarinet 6-8 hours each day. He even practiced when he didn’t have an instrument in his hands. He practiced mentally.

    Mentally practice your public speaking. Picture or imagine yourself coming to the end of the phrase or sentence and when you stop, the transition will be a pause where a deep breath is taken.

    That pause and deep breath can replace any mistake you make when practicing. Simply stop, rewind the script in your mind, and play it back. The only thing, that code in your brain needs to be read as pause, deep breath.

    The pause and deep breath does something for the brain. It makes it feel good. You may not feel it feel good, but studies have shown that it does.

    More importantly, it will help you master the ability to speak fluently.

    Reverse Engineering Word Whiskers

    Want to have some fun and learn the power of non-verbal conversation? When you are conversing with someone, pick a word or words that they use and each time they say either the word or words, smile, nod or in some way make a positive affirmation. Watch them use the word all the time.

    Want to stop a word whisker, have them frown or grimace every time they hear you use a word whisker.

Go Word Whisker Elimination

Go Back to the Speaking Skills List

Speechmastery.com: The Word Whiskers Elimination Website

Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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