How to Banish Filler and the Interrogative Tone

In Episode 9, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward talk about the various types of filler language that can creep into our speech when we’re presenting. When you speak with a lot of filler words and overuse the interrogative tone, it can undermine your credibility so it’s worth listening for and eliminating.

Listening Notes:

  • 1:00 – Trevor defines the interrogative voice (or tone) and describes why it holds us back when we’re delivering a presentation or having a conversation in a professional context.
  • 2:57 – Trevor and Karen talk about the prevalence of “uptalk” in contemporary communication and why the interrogative tone has taken root in our modern culture.
  • 5:35 – Trevor shares some tips about how to reduce the interrogative tone.
  • 9:20 – Karen asks Trevor how he responds to people who are reluctant to modify their interrogative tone because it’s just the way they authentically talk.
  • 13:31 – Trevor explains what filler language is and how it affects the quality of our discourse.
  • 15:22 – Karen and Trevor talk about why and when filler language can work and discuss the radio program This American Life as an example.
  • 18:37 – Trevor provides some tips for how to reduce the filler language in your oral communications and why doing so matters.
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About Trevor Currie

Trevor is the Founder of Podium Consulting, a presentation skills company that helps business leaders become stronger, more influential communicators. Trevor is the host of The Podium Project podcast and regularly shares speaking tips and insights with the Podium Club and on Twitter @trevcurrie.

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