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Verbal viruses are meaningless fillers that speckle our speech, distract from our message, drain our impact and annoy listeners. I call them verbal viruses because they seem to be contagious and we pick them up without being aware of it.
The most common verbal viruses are: “uhh” “um” “like” “you know” “well” “okay” and “sort of.” They also include annoying mouth sounds and lip smacks.
Verbal viruses are jarring to the ear and inconsistent with a professional image. They can make you sound unsure, unprepared and poorly educated. The good news about verbal viruses is that they are easily cured. Here’s my 5-step plan for prevention, treatment and cure.
Here’s to healthy speaking.
About Susan Berkley
Susan Berkley is a professional speaker and international communications expert. She is a top voiceover artist and author of Speak to Influence: How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Voice, available at bookstores or from The Great Voice Company