Are vocal crutches holding you back?

Jan 20, 2014

Director Michael Bay is greeted by Samsung Electronics America Executive VP Joe Stinziano on stage at the Samsung press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bay abruptly walked off the stage after a teleprompter malfunctioned and Bay was unable to ad-lib to continue the presentation.; Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Have you ever spoken with someone who relies on vocal crutches to get through everyday conversation?  Chances are, you have. Many people rely on vocal crutches without even realizing it.

Common vocal crutches include relying on filler words such as “um”and “like, “ya know?” Up-talking is another common vocal tic which occurs when someone ends statements with the intonation of a question. Vocal crutches can be annoying and can even distract listeners from what is actually being said.  

Can vocal tics impact a person’s image? Can vocal crutches hold individuals back in a professional environment?  What is the best way to identify a vocal crutch? How can you stop yourself from relying on vocal tics?


John K. Bates, CEO and Founder at Executive Speaking Success

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