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       Like it or not, how you talk can lead people to make a lot of assumptions about who you are, where you’re from, and how educated (or not so educated) you might be. One of the most overused words in recent years has been the word ‘like’ in both casual and professional conversations.
       If you’re a habitual ‘like’ user, you’re not alone. Even the President is known to use a few ‘likes’ in his everyday speech. Yet refining your speech patterns can be a big benefit when you’re looking for work, giving presentations, or even just dating. Here are some methods, tips and tricks.
0. M If you simply can’t seem to break your bad habit of ‘like’ overuse, then it may be time to stop using it altogether. Replace the word with any other word that means about the same thing. Listeners will get your point and you’ll avoid backtracking in your progress.
One way to stop using ‘like’ in weird places throughout your speech is to take the time to learn where it should actually fall with regard to standard usage rules. If you’re unsure, take a look in the dictionary entry for the word. There are several usages explained.
There are a couple of pretty common ways that you’ll hear ‘like’ being thrown around in everyday speech, and knowing what these are can help you be more conscious of times when you might be at risk of using the word yourself.
When you’re giving a quantity that you’re not sure of, it’s pretty common to throw in ‘like’ even though it’s not necessary at all. For example, “You need, like, twenty dollars to buy that.” Saying you need ‘about’, ‘roughly’, or any other word would be more precise and descriptive to indicate that you’re guessing or estimating.
Perhaps the most tried and true way to sound more intelligent and polished when you speak, ‘like’ aside, is to slow down and speak more slowly and deliberately. This means taking time to think before you speak and developing a pace that doesn’t force you to use filler words to help your brain catch up to your mouth. Consider taking some public speaking classes to help you on this issue.
Record yourself
Acquire new words
Learn how to use ‘like’ correctly
Know the most common ways ‘like’ is misused
Make approximations
Pause when you would say ‘like’
First think then speak
Stop using ‘like’ before a quote
Make your speaking shorter
Make your vocabulary ‘disliked’
Challenge yourself
Ask others to help you
Use other words instead of ‘like’
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