Thursday, January 26, 2012

Filler Up

Uhhh... okay, so I basically failed the first day of the week 3 mindfulness challenge.

I recorded a lot of my speech today, two classes and several phone calls later, I'm appalled. Even when I'm consciously making an effort to remove the filler words, I'm spewing them all over the place. It's like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time... in some cases I failed at all of it. In this random 10-minute snippet of today's noon class, I counted the filler... and this is trying REALLY hard not to say this stuff!
  • 'so' - 4 times
  • 'okay' - 6 times
  • 'um' - 8 times
  • 'now' - 3 times
  • 'alright' - once
And all that trying to speak words and words only, meant that my usual stutter-prevention system was off... and that during the same section, I stammered 14 times and cloaked the stutter with a pause countless times more.

Thus far, I've noticed a few things. I use filler words when I'm trying to BS someone (there's a little of that in this recording), unsure, or if I need to collect my thoughts before answering a question. When I clearly know the answer to something, or my next move, or I'm actively listening to someone else, I don't stutter or fill at all. During the periods of this class where I did my worst at controlling the filler words were the times that I know in my mind I was skipping ahead or thinking of something else, like how to disguise an error or shortcoming of the system I was demonstrating. When your mind wanders, your speech suffers. I'm exhausted and it's only day 1 of this week's challenge. I have my work cut out for me.

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