"Just like...."

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]here is a strange reaction we have when we go in front of a camera.  Even those who are great communicators with people face to face, can struggle with being powerful communicators over the medium of film. Myself included. Its interesting the mannerisms, words we choose and the demeanor we revert to when we are "on the spot."  The verbal and physical ticks can flow freely like water from a faucet.  They are difficult to turn off. I've been thinking about them more recently after a great conversation with one of my dearest friends.  We got onto the topic of qualifying words or what I like to call "verbal crutches"  the words we use that don't mean anything but we use to fill in the blank space.  The ones that are at the top of most of our lists... "just" and "like."  How many times do you use these words in conversation?  Think about it?  Start talking now and catch how many times you use either word.  I'm sorry in advance as this will frustrate you if you focus in on it.

The conversation got me thinking of how we tone down much of what we share by including these words. Our conversation becomes watered down by the sheer volume we mix in these words to our conversations.  Some self awareness can go along way in this arena.  The well used phrase "think before you speak" is fitting for this problem.

Besides challenging you (and myself) to raise the bar on the quality of our conversations I want to pose a theory.  Perhaps our level of conversation has become so trained with these verbal crutches, that they have changed our verbal gait.  To go on without them would mean we would have to slow down to retrain ourselves in quality conversation.  What got us onto these crutches in the first place you say?  Well I'm glad you asked... I believe technology has largely hindered this.

Now I'm not vilifying texting, social media etc... but in a day and age where a large part of our communication is done through typing we can edit out those verbal crutches as our pace of thinking has to slow down to the pace of our writing. We can easily delete redundancies or edit poor grammar. Not the case with our every day conversations.  Having a deep and meaningful conversation, just like being filmed, can cause us to get nervous  which as a result we lean on the support of qualifiers.  As you know this isn't' necessary, but so commonly accepted socially now that most people have picked up these words as integral parts of our colloquial language.

Today I simply want to bring awareness back to the depth and quality of conversations that we have.  They are less and less face to face these days, so when we do have them we should make them count.  Life is too short to remain solely on the surface... lets "just like" launch out into the deep ok?

Or more powerfully... Now let's launch out into the deep!