Publications & Products
Volume 3, Issue 29

Common Speaking Mistakes Professionals Make

Leaders should not only think about what they say in a professional setting but also how they say it, say communications specialists.

Business Insider recently shared some common speaking mistakes that professionals should avoid. They include:

  • Stuttered or repeated words and fillers. John West, a professional speech coach, says that people who use filler words such as "like" and "um" lose their audience faster than those who allow for pauses during their speech.
  • Speaking too quickly. Susan Finch, a voice and speech trainer, says that hurried speakers end up "mumbling, rushing and swallowing" their words. She suggests speakers take a breath before speaking to help slow them down.
  • Speaking too quietly. Sandra Kazan, an executive voice and speech instructor, says that projection problems often arise when people tighten up, constructing their vocal chords and preventing the smooth flow of air.
  • Trailing off at the end of phrases. "You want to keep your voice supported... all the way to the end of the idea," Finch says.
  • Phrasing statement as questions. Finch says people who do this appear far less confident. She suggests those struggling with this habit record themselves and make an effort to keep their pitch from rising at the end of sentences.
  • Speaking in a monotone voice. "We want to hear in the voice a relaxed enthusiasm and a pleasant assertiveness," West says.

This article is from the Jan. 27, 2014 issue.

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