How to avoid ‘verbal diarrhoea’

 In Delivery, Feedback, Learning from Luminaries, Luminary, Meetings, Mindset, News, Politicians, The Winning Voice

When you’re having an interaction, or are a participant in a meeting, or are pitching to the leadership team et al – do you suffer from verbal diarrhoea?…

Do you talk because you are uncomfortable with silence?…or talk because you’ve don’t know how to stop talking . . . or talk because you’re in love with the sound of your voice?

I believe I first heard the following technique a number of years ago from a Salesforce client of mine, who was a participant in a workshop I was conducting.

The technique is WAIT? that stands for: ‘Why Am I Talking?

Here’s what to do:

  1. For any face to face meeting write the ‘WAIT?‘ in your field of view. For virtual meetings write ‘WAIT’ on a Post-it note and tape the Post-it next to your camera.
  2. As you participate in the meeting intermittently ask yourself, ‘Why Am I Talking?’. If you can find no good reason for talking – stop talking.

Clients who have field tested this technique report they have become more concise in their spoken communication. I’ve written many posts about being concise. One suggestion comes from master speaker and former Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr.

One of **Carr’s gems is,

“When in doubt, strike it out. The tighter the better. If a sentence doesn’t advance the case drop it.”

Own the Conversation

Implementation idea:

  • Trial the WAIT, Why Am I Talking? technique.
  • Reflect on the impact of d0ing so.


**Here is my free audio program, Choice Voice. Lessons from great speaking voice.  It might interest.

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