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Interruptions are Annoying

annoyedDoes it ever feel like you are interrupted by your colleagues? Are others being more assertive and talking over you even when it should be your turn? If it happens frequently, make the following checks on your communication to determine why it is happening.

First of all, does it take you a while to make a point? Learning to get to the point quickly is a skill busy leaders need to master. Some non-native English speakers struggle to make a point because they lack the vocabulary. You may need to work on vocabulary building activities first.

Secondly, is your vocabulary colorful and interesting? And do you use vocal pitch variety? Monotonous sounding speech is tiring to listen to and doesn’t command attention or give you credibility.

And thirdly, are others speaking when you stop to take your breath? Many people are interrupted when they take a breath and there are listeners who grab that second of quiet space to interrupt. Since most of us pause to breathe at punctuation (even in conversation), do something out of the ordinary and a little bit unexpected to the listener. Pause for a breath in the middle of your sentence instead of at the end. It will take practice to keep it from sounding artificial but the listener is less likely to interrupt if you pause in the middle. Try saying this paragraph and take a breath at each of the slash marks.

If you are having problems with people talking over you// even when it should be your turn practice pausing for a breath// in the middle of your sentence instead of at the end. It will take practice to keep it from sounding artificial// but the listener is less likely to interrupt // if you pause in the middle of sentences.

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About the Author Lynda Stucky

Lynda Stucky coaches mid-senior level executives on using their speech and voice effectively to establish credibility, position themselves within their company, and enhance their reputation as a topic authority. She provides training through one-on-one coaching and online courses to reduce foreign accents, “redd-up” regional accents, and teach speech and voice branding for image control. She is President of ClearlySpeaking, and is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She is the author of "Voice Branding for Executives: How to Align Your Speech, Language, and Voice Skills with Your Professional Goals." Her background in speech pathology offers unique skills for dealing with professional communication skills in the corporate world. She believes communication skills should not hold anyone back from achieving personal and professional goals.

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