Trim the Fat

Thoughtful man and doubting woman with question mark. People solve problem, choose solution. Concept of dispute, conflict, deadlock. I do not know. Vector flat design illustration.

We were listening to a WebEx presentation and were unsettled by the speaker’s vocal tic. At the end of almost every sentence, she said “right?” It was irritating and displayed a lack of self-awareness. It became so off-putting that we tuned out.

Unfortunately, many speakers have a version of this repeater. Canadians have their “Eh?” Easterners use, “You know what I’m saying?” And like a broken record, lots of speakers fill dead space with “you know?” or “ummm.” We often hear younger folks end sentences with an upward inflection (uptalk) which sounds like they are asking for approval.

These discourse particles, fillers, or unconscious add-on phrases are a stumbling block to being perceived as a leader or person of influence. You can be focused, driven and experienced, but if you ask for approval with vocal tics, the impression you deliver is negative. Impression management often hinges on being sufficiently self-aware to catch these little gremlins and drive them out of your vocal repertoire. "You know what we’re sayin, right…?"

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