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:

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