Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Topic: Speech Habits in the Corporate World

10-second review: If you suspect your speech habits are retarding your progress up the company ladder, what should you do?

Title: “To Win Advancement, You Need to Clean Up Any Bad Speech Habits.” JS Lublin. Wall Street Journal (October 5, 2004).

Summary: What are some bad speech habits in the business world? Using the F-- word frequently. Speaking like a teen-ager. “Me and….are….” Wimpy words like “I think.” Finishing sentences with a rising inflection (“uptalk”) that makes you sound indecisive. Talking Brooklynese.

What do you do about problems with your speech, according to the author? Management hires a speech coach at $250 to $400 an hour. If management won’t hire a speech coach, seek feedback about your communication habits from your boss.

Comment: Begin by reading the book or seeing the film featuring Edwin Newman entitled, Strictly Speaking. Newman highlights many of the usage problems that make people sound uneducated. I showed the film to some administrators in our school district and they loved it. Then, be aware of the " 'y know’ and “like' ” habits that keep your speech from being crisp, clear and concise. Use formal English. And think before you speak. RayS.

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