...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
—William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Whether you’re engaged in a casual dialogue with a client or making a presentation to a group, large or small, nothing is more annoying, irritating, and distracting to your audience than the incessant uttering of non-words. Non-words go by many names: “verbal disinfluencies,” “oral graffiti,” “word parsley,” but the latter is disrespectful to parsley for while parsley is not a dietary staple, at least a thoughtful and talented chef may use it to make the presentation of a special dish look good. Unceasing barrages of non-words, however, serve no useful purpose and make your presentations difficult to swallow.
I’m not concerned about the ...