I recently conducted my first interview with a participant for my Honours Project! The whole interview was recorded on an audio recorder and I just finished transcribing it. Listening to my own voice was a strange process of thoughts like, ‘Do I really sound like this?’ and feelings of intense embarrassment arose.
There are a few things I realised from conducting my interview and a few improvements I want to make for my next one.
- I ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ quite a bit.
- I tend to lift the tone of the end of my sentences.
- I use the word ‘like’ as a filler word.
- The ‘umm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ comes from a lack of rehearsal in my questions and the internal changing of formal wording into an informal one. Next time I want to be more practised in asking questions and know what I am talking about. Also I want to be able to come across as confident in asking questions.
- This is something which has been pointed out by another one of my university tutors. She said that (during my presentation) I made the end of my sentences higher in tone than the rest, which suggested I was questioning the fact. Of course when asking questions, it is supposed to sound like a question, so the lift at the end is perfectly okay. However, in other contexts it is not. I think that it links back to the lack of confidence and rehearsal in point 1. I subconsciously doubt myself and question it, which comes out in my speech. I aim to correct this by my next interview.
- This is one of my pet peeves yet I do it myself. Listening back to the audio recording was like torturing myself. In almost every pause or gap in speech, I inserted a ‘like’. It is so unnecessary and adds no value whatsoever. I tend to use it more when I am trying to explain something which is something I need to do in my interviews, so I need to stop this habit. My boyfriend advised me not to be scared of taking pauses in speech as it is not awkward if there is a gap in the middle of a sentence. I aim to cut out the use of the word ‘like’ as a filler, not just for the purposes of these interviews but for my speech in general.