Everyone has a crutch!

My is “So…” at the beginning of an interview question. It gets on my nerves and I try and edit as many out as I can.

What’s your crutch?


What is a crutch?

It’s a word, a saying or a little grunt that you always use just before speaking.

It gives you a split-second of thinking time. It helps your brain decide what you’re going to say.

It’s almost like a breath.

You rely on this crutch to hold you up as you present and it becomes almost like a subconscious comfort blanket.

Most of the time you don’t know you’re saying it but if you force yourself to stop you really notice it.

A great example of my crutch is just before an interview question I say:

“So, tell me how you managed to…”.

Some folks use the word right:

“Right, tell me how you managed to…”.

What’s your crutch?

Identifying your crutch

Most of the time you won’t know you’ve got a crutch so the best way to find it is to listen back to your podcast episodes and analyse what you’re saying.

Do you say the same thing before every question you ask or every new voice part?

When you listen to yourself do you get irritated by a particular word at the start of sentences?

The only way to find your crutch is to listen to yourself. I know, I hate listening to myself as well!

Fixing your crutch?

This can take time.

It’s not easy because the crutch is usually subconscious so you don’t know you’re doing it.

You need to train yourself to start sentences in a different way. Maybe even use scripts at first and once you get used to working without your crutch go back to working without scripts (not advised) or from bullet points (my way).

You could even stick a post-it note to the table or microphone with your crutch on it so you see the word you have to avoid.

So what’s your crutch? Find me on Twitter and let me know.