A hero to the judgment-impaired everywhere (tralfamadore) wrote in thequestionclub,
A hero to the judgment-impaired everywhere

TQC, do you have any tips or tricks for improving verbal communication?

I'm an absolute wreck when it comes to speaking aloud. Not just in interviews or speeches or on the telephone, but even face-to-face with coworkers and good friends. I'd like to think I'm a decently eloquent writer, but I'm completely inarticulate. It's to the point where I've been accused of plagiarism because my writing is so different from my speech patterns. My boss actually asked me once if I had ever thought of pursuing a career where I could just write instead of having to communicate with others verbally.

When I'm speaking, I transpose words a lot of the time or substitute one "small" word for another (such as using "and" when I mean "but"). I'll try to say two things at once in the same sentence, and then have to start all over when the two ideas crash together. Not only that, but I trail off on pretty much every single sentence I say. It's virtually impossible for me to finish a thought aloud. When I'm trying to actively listen, I tend to use the same words or sounds over and over again (like saying "huh" or "yeah, yeah" five or six times in one conversation). I don't really think it's a matter of needing to slow down or organize my thoughts, because I rarely have that problem when writing.

What the hell, people? This has pretty much gone on my entire damn life. When I used to have to read aloud in school, I'd sound completely illiterate despite always having excelled in that area. So maybe it's not even a matter of me not having the words, since I still have difficulty in saying others' words off a page. Even children's books!

Bawww, this is ridiculously long but I'm slightly desperate. Help? Or will you just talk about your own verbal communication skills or mishaps?
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