In this short video, Taylor Mali nails how so many people talk today. Hilarious. Unfortunately, I have even heard public speakers fall into this.

That’s just one of the reasons I recommend attending the Dynamic Communicator’s Workshop, October 17–21, in Vail, Colorado. I went last spring and am going again. It also helped me tremendously as a blogger.

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29 thoughts on “Totally Like Whatever, You Know?

  1. Mike, thanks for sharing this video.  It’s funny and makes a great point.

    I think part of the issue is that right now our culture is very adverse to authority, arrogance and conflict.  We don’t want to offend anyone or come off as know-it-alls, so we state our opinions in ways that communicate to others that they can disagree with us and we’ll still be OK with them.  That’s good in some ways, but I think we’ve taken it to such an extreme that we often just sounding wishy-washy.

    • Paul, I think you nailed it on the head. We want everyone to be OK with whatever is said. Making everything OK for everyone is not healthy. There’s no conflict or growth. It’s all pandering.

  2. I, like, so totally loved this, you know?  Thanks for, like, sharing it.

    My wife and I have worked with teenagers for most of our adult life.  I was always horrified that I would incorporate their speech patterns into my public speaking.

  3. As a member of what might be “the most aggressively inarticulate generation” I understand the power of confident communication and the willingness to take the risk of actually having an opinion I stand by.

    I’ve been trying to apply this at work and have discovered that when I have the conviction to get things accomplished, those who don’t simply get out of the way.

  4. This one of my favorite Taylor Mali pieces. He is one of the very best poets right now. Have you seen his piece about teachers? I believe it is called “What Teacher’s Make”. 

  5. Thanks for posting this video. I was rehearsing a speech this morning on the way to a meeting. As I thought, I kept saying things in my head that I remembered from this guy’s video. Amazing how one small video can have a direct impact on a person’s day and work.

  6. It was amazing how the entire presentation changed when he went from speaking with questions to speaking with conviction. It gave me chills; I was very persuaded by his point.

  7. I think you shared this with us before but it was worth watching again – like totally.  The way people speak today drives me batty.  Just promise me that in October you will go to Vail, Colorado and not Vale (wherever that is!).

  8. So true, Taylor nailed the current way so many of us speak.

    One thing I really liked from his performance was his encouragement to speak with conviction. To stop making yourself seem insignificant. It’s something I struggle with in the way that I speak. So thanks for sharing this encouraging video.

  9. Wonderful video. It’s been interesting to me in raising 20-somethings and teaching college students in this past decade how simply uttering declarative statements are taken as argumentative and considered “yelling,” and being truthful is offensive. 

    Consider that many students and parents believe grades should be geared toward effort and not skill–then we begin to understand how this mindset has permeated our culture, corporate and otherwise.

    In the news business, while presenting both sides of an issue formerly was seen as objective reporting, advocacy journalism is on the rise, lest readers be offended because they don’t understand the basics of  letting the reader decide–and many are too lazy to use critical thinking skills to do this–something I feel is key in the discussion about declarative versus non-declarative statements. You have to be able to use critical thinking skills to arrive at a good decision and not just be ambivalent or apathetic.

    I was appalled in 2008 when covering the campaign speech of a presidential hopeful the night before the election in Jacksonville, Fla. Even as I had felt a growing sense of this at rallys leading up to the election, I was shocked at the lack of diversity. There was NO dissent allowed. No signs, no buttons, no shirts. As lines of people waited, they were informed that unless they were supporting the speaker, they need not be present. I’m not suggesting wild-eyed persons who seek to disrupt a public event are granted entry, but I am suggesting that in past years I have seen groups of people wearing shirts for an opposing candidate stand quietly to the side, listening carefully while a candidate shares his/her opinion. After all, it was the night before the election. It was as if a campaign wanted to limit opportunities for a free exchange of thought. Now that’s limiting.

    In the 90’s, those of us from California liberally sprinkled the word “like” throughout our speech. I don’t know why. Never thought about it. Now, even professionals seem to get away with using the equivocating “whatever” — something I shut my children down for using with me when they were teens. 

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • and ya, i couldn’t edit my post.  it should read EVERY DAY and not EVERYDAY

      just trying to stave off the many predictable responses…

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