Saying “So” is So Annoying!

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Saying “So” is So Annoying!

Encourager-In-Chief: May 3rd, 2017

"So storm".

My wife and I’ve recently started watching the show “Shark Tank.” While we both find it very entertaining and interesting, there is one annoying trait that seems to be prevalent on almost every single episode. It occurs, when entrepreneurs are coming out to pitch their business idea to the Sharks.

Virtually every sentence starts off with the word, “so.” The problem is they are using the word as a stall tactic. I listened for a long time to figure out what they should be saying instead of “so” and I’ve determined they shouldn’t be saying anything! They’re using the word as a space filler. Instead of saying, “um,” they now say, “so.” For example, one of the Sharks asks the entrepreneur what his sales projections are for the coming year, the response is, “so, we expect to do about $300,000.” “So”is completely unnecessary in the sentence. Another question follows: How did you come up with the idea? “So, we noticed that people who wanted to learn how to surf got started by practicing on skateboards.”

As with most annoying tendencies, they become more aggravating when they are continuously repeated. Thus far, the Sharks don’t seem to mind “the so storms" from the many millennial inventors on their show. At least they haven’t commented about it yet. However, as a viewer and an English major, it drives me up the walls. Why doesn’t somebody say something to these people? Are they just oblivious to how silly it sounds, or is the audience who tunes in of the same age and inclination of those practicing this annoying habit?

While there are certainly more serious problems to contend with, this is an easily solvable one. Instead of saying, “so,” and instead of saying, “um,” don’t say anything. Just pause, collect your thoughts, and make your point.

On “Shark Tank”, the contestants are hoping to get thousands and even millions of dollars in investments as a result of their initial pitch...which is usually only a couple minutes long. If there was ever a time to make a perfect first impression, this should be it. As for the rest of us, you don’t have to go on television to care if you sound intelligent. Master your communication and you will master your life.

It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
- Abraham Lincoln

This excerpt is taken from my How to Make a Perfect First Impression seminar.

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I encourage you to order my Become an Ultimate Service Provider audio program which includes this lesson in greater detail.

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