When Right is Wrong

I see the rapid increase in the number of podcasts focused on analysis of news and current events  as a good thing.  I like to believe that the average audience member considers podcasts as only one of many media channels for sourcing interpretations –liberal, conservative, progressive, establishment or anti-establishment sentiments – of the complex world in which we reside.  The diversity of opinions is especially valuable to any entrepreneur considering entry into global markets.

HOWEVER, the hair on the back of my neck rises when I hear a podcaster continually inserting “right” in his or her statement.

If you are making a point, make it.  Don’t second guess yourself by inserting a questioning “Right?” into your opinion unless you are truly looking for validation from the other members participating in the conversation.  Similarly, interjecting “right, right” into another speaker’s statement is not adding value.

This morning while enjoying breakfast, I listened to VOX.com’s new foreign policy podcast Worldly  with Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams and Zach Beauchamp discussing the potential for a US-Russian conflict in Syria.  

Jennifer Williams’ bio on  Vox.com reads: Before joining Vox, Jennifer was a senior researcher at thee Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the deputy foreign policy editor for Lawfare Her work on jihadist groups, terrorism, and the Middle East has appeared in numerous publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest.

Reading some of her older blog postings, reinforced my impression that this is a woman who “knows her stuff”; she is a strong communicator in the written form. Unfortunately, when speaking live during the Vox podcast, she comes off much less polished than her male co-hosts because of her verbal “hiccups”.

Public speaking is a critical communication skill. If you want to be heard and respected, I urge WE Speak members to take the time to enroll in a public speaking class or Toast Masters club. At a minimum, identify a mentor who will coach you to not only develop your business pitch, but also how to deliver it. Doing so will help you develop a rhetorical style that is free from the “um, right,  like….” ticks that hamper effective speaking.

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