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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Advice from Michael please by Helen on 4 November 2002 7:37pm
... or anyone else who interviews people for the media.
How do I STOP muttering "mm-hmmm" while I am interviewing someone? (this is for a radio program)
My guest is answering my question, and I am concentrating on what they are saying, I nod and sometimes say, "mm-hmm" in agreement. It is very hard to break this subtle habit. It is as natural to me as breathing. But I want to stop-- saying "mmm-hmm", not breathing. I like breathing. But I digress.
I have shut my mic off while my guest is talking, but then one time I forgot to turn it right back on when I started talking again.
What can I do? It annoys me. Help me soon because I am on the air tonight. And Michael, I adore your interviewing style. Throw a few nuggets of wisdom my way.
Thank you.
Re: Advice from Michael please by Dianne on 7 November 2002 8:21am
Hi Helen,

I was going to give you my thoughts on how to break a habit, but since you wanted to hear from either Michael or from others who interview people, I would leave it. Since there have been no replies yet I decided to put in mine after all. However, I do not have good news for you. There is no quick fix for ridding yourself of a habit, only time and patience. The good news is you can get rid of it. I've stopped myself from saying certain phrases I have felt I have said too often. What happens with me is that I continue saying it for a while and realising my mistake afterwards, the second stage is that I stop myself halfway through the phrase, then later, I am able to stop myself from saying all of it. Eventually I forget all about it and weeks later I realise I have not said the phrase for a long time. It usually takes 30 days to get rid of a habit.

Good luck!
Re: Advice from Michael please by Helen on 7 November 2002 3:39pm
Thanks! This helps. It's always nice to get advice and encouragement from others who have succeeded...... I stopped saying "like" in my everyday speech...I think I can do this. 30 days..
Okay-- I KNOW I can do this... I have to. It annoys the hell out of me, and I cringe when i hear the recordings of me doing it. My husband says he hardly notices it, but he's just being nice because he's married to me. I notice it. MMM--Hmmm.
I realize MP is a busy man, but I thought I'd give it a shot.
Any others?

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