Help for Voice Fatigue
Cure a Dry Mouth
How to Cure the Verbal
The most common verbal viruses are: "uhh" "um" "like" "you know" "well" "okay" and "sort of." They also include annoying mouth sounds and lip smacks.
Verbal viruses are jarring to the ear and inconsistent with a professional image. They can make you sound unsure, unprepared and poorly educated. The good news about verbal viruses is that they are easily cured. Here's my 5-step plan for prevention, treatment and cure.
DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM: Since verbal viruses are unconscious, the only way you'll hear them is on tape. Record a few of your phone calls on a typical business day to quickly determine if you are suffering from a verbal virus infection.
PAUSE: Whenever you catch yourself saying a non-word, just stop talking. Say nothing. This gap of silence will feel scary at first, but if the pause is no longer than 5 seconds, the listener will scarcely notice. A pause will help you gather your thoughts while giving the listener time to reflect on what you have just said.
RECORD THE VOICEMAIL MESSAGES YOU LEAVE FOR OTHERS: Listen to them at the end of the day and note whether or not unwanted fillers have crept into your messages.
ENLIST THE HELP OF A FRIEND OR SPOUSE: Explain what you are trying to do and invent a code word he or she can use every time you use a filler word. The constant reminder will help you break the habit fast.
HOLD YOUR BREATH. When you feel you are about to use a non-word, take a breath, hold it for a moment and then begin to speak. The focus on your breathing will occupy your mind, keep you calm and centered and make the silence between the words seem much less scary.
How To Tame A
Hyper-Active Speaking Style
MAKE SURE YOU ARE
PHYSICALLY RELAXED BEFORE MAKING THE CALL
SURROUND YOUR DESK WITH
IF YOU CAN STAND IT, CUT
BACK ON THE CAFFEINE
PAUSE MORE. AFTER EACH
THOUGHT, COUNT TO 3 BEFORE YOU CONTINUE
How to Sound Friendlier
Over the Phone
If you smile when you dial, you will never sound grouchy. It's the fastest and easiest way to sound warm and friendly. Keep a mirror by your phone. When you can see a nice big grin in the mirror, you can be sure the person you are calling will hear the smile in your voice.
About The Author
About The Great Voice
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2002
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