As soon as I read the term “brain fart” in Neil Strauss‘ The Rules of the Game, I’m amused by the term.
In the third chapter of the book, Neil talks about how our voice is our identity and the importance of vocal training and speaking with confidence. The chapter highlights a list of common problems and one of the greatest enemies of speaking with confidence is brain farts, otherwise known as pausers.
He elaborated that we learned to use meaningless utterances of words and phrases like um, uh, like, you know as placeholders to make sure we don’t lose anyone’s attention while thinking what to say next, or as a sonar system to make sure other people understands and agrees with what we are saying.
These pausers, although being convenient, actually does harm as it sends out the message of being insecure.
This is an interesting thought and I experimented by being more aware when I’m talking – something that I didn’t give too much attention in the past. After a few conversation, this awareness exercise lead me into stinging sensation as I literally hear what I don’t want to hear: my conversations are sprinkled with lots of pausers and how unimpressive my style of speech is. That’s one big room of improvement that I need to work on.
Brain farts are the just the perfect analogy to these pausers: it stinks whether people noticed it or not.