Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Everyone Benefits From Communication Coaching

If I ever needed proof that EVERYONE can benefit from communication coaching I got it last night watching John Manning, Harvard Law School faculty member, discuss President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court Justice vacancy. Mr. Manning had two terrible speech habits. One, he preceded at least half of his statements with "I think." And second, he used the intensifier, very. His nonverbals could be the subject of another posting entirely. This is simple really – Mr. Manning, you do not need to say "I think" before making a statement. Give us credit for being able to discern fact from opinion. And, if you are using the phrase to emphasize that you are not sure of what you are about to say, then you do not belong on national television. As for the repetitive use of very – just stop it – give it up for Lent or for the year. When your period of abstention is over, you will find that you didn't miss it at all. And neither did we.


Preethi Sougoumarin said...

Hi Theresa Zagnoli,
Thank you mam for sharing the speech habits of Mr. John Manning. I also have the habit of using 'fillers' like 'ah', 'hmmm', 'and' etc. very often, while making presentations and speeches.Can you suggest any ways to overcome this habit?. Please share your views on this.
Thank you.

Theresa Zagnoli said...

Preethi -

Best thing to do is enlist someone's help to interrupt your speech pattern. It is aggravating but works. Second is practice saying nothing for a count of two between sentences. You will begin to listen for fillers. It will also help you use silence more effectively. Try these two tips and then let me know what happens.

Thank you for asking.

Preethi said...

Thanks for your valuable response. In today's class, I had to make a group presentation on the topic, "principles of economic decision making". Though I couldn't ask somebody to interrupt me , I did try to give a pause between sentences, to make me conscious of the fillers. Though i could not stop using them, I did reduce using it most often. I hope I will soon be able to overcome this completely. Thank you!