Friday, May 18, 2007

Varieties of "Ahs" in public speaking

Toastmasters have ah-counters or members assigned to count the number of "ahs" a speaker makes in a single speech. Members who sprinkle a 5-7 minute speech with numerous "ahs" will most likely be penalized for doing this. The superfluous use of "ahs" could spring from it being a habit acquired over the years which had remained uncorrected until now.

"Ah" breaks the line of thought and actually means nothing. It probably gives the speaker a sort of a crutch, some sort of filler to fill some "dead air". But too much of this could sound very annoying.

How does one avoid this? Simple. Just do not use it. Whenever you feel the need to go "ah, ah, ah" just bite your tongue and keep quiet for that split second temptation. Instead of saying "ah" to fill the gap, just stop and allow silence instead of saying that killer word.

But beware. Ah,ah, ah...has several cousins. Some speakers can easily find other prop words which in effect actually means ah,ah,ah. What are the varieties of Ah? Here they are:

Ladies and gentlemen..

At the end of the day....

Madam Chair...

My friends....

You have anything more to add to the list? Feel free to add them here under comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post! Other prop words to avoid Ahs in my opinion are:


It's to say

Let me explain

or For example

Jim Peterson