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Monday, May 24, 2010

Fillers you can't get rid, like, you know?

If there is one thing I have learned from Toastmasters, it is to be conscious of speaking clearly and avoid those awkward filler words whenever possible. When people get nervous they have a tendency to speak fast and say "um" a lot. When I mean a lot I mean everything other starting sentence begins with "um" or it is used in between words as a filler. Unfortunately this is a very common habit and it can be difficult to break. I find myself catching myself when I get nervous because I tend to speed up and then I realize that I need to slow down. However, a lot of people don't realize they use so many fillers or talk fast. If you happen to notice you have this tendency, it can be helpful to have a friend or co-worker track the amount of um's and likes you have when you speak because then you can work on improving your speech. It was never really an issue for me until I learned that this habit can be so distracting and even unprofessional at times. So, like if you want to um improve the way you speak, uh it is important to try to cut down on the fillers, you know?!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Personal Board of Directors

A few months ago, I read in Lynette Lewis’s book Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos that women should organize a “personal board of directors.” I have unofficially done this and I consult my board whenever I need advice or help. Lynette suggests that you keep a few key points in mind as you approach your potential “board members”:

What skills are they most proud of? What can you offer in return? Be specific and succinct when you’re requesting help. This is really important because by narrowing down each person’s strengths you are able to make the most of the relationship. On my board I know exactly which member I want to consult if I need help getting something accomplished in the workplace or if I need career advice etc. This concept has really worked well for me. I am able to get different points of view on various issues and each person has their own resources which in turn help me achieve my goals.

In today’s time when people give you advice face to face you should not take it for granted. Lynette puts it nicely: When busy people are generous enough to give you something, such as time, a letter of recommendation, or ideas for your next big venture, never forget to acknowledge them. Do it in a creative way that is memorable and means something to them personally.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


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