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3 Highly Annoying Speech Habits

by | Nov 6, 2017

You are about to hire your new VP of Sales. Or you are negotiating with the owner of a family-owned business for the rights to franchise. Or you are meeting with your CIO about a possible security breach.

And then the potential VP, the owner, and the CIO use one or all three of these highly annoying speech habits. Outcome: you don’t want to work with any of them.

In a recent conversation with Dr. Alice Silbergleit, the Director of the Speech-Language Sciences and Disorders Department of Neurology at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, I asked, “What are your top three bad speech habits?”

“That’s easy,” Dr. Silbergleit replied. “These three bad habits are rampant and they are killers. The first one is: DOING SOMETHING CALLED ‘UPSPEAK’. Second place goes to ‘GLOTTAL FRY’. And the third bad habit is ending sentences with ‘RIGHT?’ All three of these tie for first place!”

  1. UPSPEAK: This phenomenon refers to making all sentences end as if they were questions. Hence, your pitch goes up at the conclusion of the sentence even if you are NOT asking a question. I tell my clients to “land the plane” at the end of each sentence, even if you are asking a question. Lower your pitch. Don’t raise pitch.
  2. GLOTTAL (VOCAL) FRY: The glottal fry register is the lowest vocal register and produces a creaky lower voice. Females, to potentially sound more credible, use this croaking sound more than males. Yet, as Dr. Silbergleit explained, this voice pattern undermines the effectiveness of their communication.

In this YouTube video, Jimmy Fallon uses glottal fry in a spoof.

  1. “RIGHT?” It was great seeing you too – RIGHT???  “Right?” is the third annoying speaking habit! Ending every sentence with the word “right” detracts from your overall presence. I concur with Dr. Silbergleit and will add two more words/phrases that become annoying: “Does that make sense?” and “Do you see what I mean?”

Just because these bad habits are rampant does not make them acceptable, right? Listen to yourself and see if you are doing Upspeak or Glottal Fry. Does that make sense?

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog.

Did you know that we also work 1:1 with decision makers on overcoming the fear of public speaking? Click here: https://www.karencortellreisman.com/seminar-what-i-didnt-say.html 


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