Cut Out Conversational Placeholders for Better Persuasion

Some of us, uh, speak with a lot of, you know, hesitating phrases that are usually, well, unintentional, or a result of being, like, nervous. If that sounds like you, New Scientist magazine has some solid evidence that you need to work on getting them out of your system:

Researchers asked 118 undergraduates to read a transcript of a testimonial about a scanner. In one version, the speaker used hesitations like “I mean” and “ummm”; in the other, he used none … When hesitant language was used, people were less easily convinced that this was a scanner worth buying – even when it was a better scanner at a lower price. Style was especially important, the researchers found, when time was limited.

Might make you think about how you’ll approach your boss next time you need a favour, or a raise. Hit the link for seven more tips on being persuasive, check out our advice on losing the “um”s and “ah”s, and share your own best path to hesitation-free speaking in the comments. Photo by journeyscoffee.

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