FASTCOMPANY |Bill tells me that the most powerful thing a person can do to improve the way they communicate is to eliminate watery language. “It would also make our meetings half as long,”
Bill Hoogterp has a drinking game he wants me to try. He says to pick my favorite soda, pour it into a glass to the halfway mark, then fill the other half with water. “Taste it,” he says, on a break from a speech-coaching workshop he’s hosting in New York. I do. It’s gross, like a soda that’s been sitting overnight with ice.
Watered-down Pepsi is what we sound like, Bill explains, when we pepper our sentences with weak language like “um” and “like.” It dilutes what we’re saying. So for the next 15 minutes, every time I use weak language—“like,” “ya know,” “whatever,” “so,” “totally,” “just,” “I mean” (in other words, my entire vocabulary)—I must drink. “I’m not sure I like this—” I begin.
FastCompany 08.03.2017 || Jessica Bennett
Photo: Unsplash user Matthew Kane