Blog

11 Words You Should Never Say During an Interview

I was quoted in an article on CheatSheet.com about the 11 words you should never say if you want credibility. Here is an excerpt: Uh, um, like Filler words like these make you sound dumb and kill your credibility in seconds. Who can concentrate on your accomplishments if all they’re hearing is, “Then, um … I, like, saved the company, uh, I’d say $10,000 in return fees.” Prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time, and speak in shorter sentences. It will help prevent using these words more than necessary. Steven D. Cohen of the Harvard Extension School says we’ve been conditioned to...

Listen: How to Make America Even Greater

My research is quoted extensively in a Huffington Post article that calls for Trump supporters and Trump opponents to listen to one another. As the author notes, “We should listen as long as it takes. We should listen as much as it takes. We should work through our justified sense of violated dignity, and practice listening anyway. We must get over ourselves and show the respect we want. We must be the change we want to see – or hear.” Here is an excerpt: I define listening as what it takes to make the speaker feel understood and respected. This sounds simple, but it is actually incredibly...

How Not to Ruin a Good First Impression

I was quoted in an article on Inc.com about 18 things to avoid saying to make a good first impression. Here is an excerpt: “Um” or “Uh” Those are filler words that we often utter either in the beginning of a sentence or in-between ideas. It’s a, “hold” word. And while these words are commonly found in everyday conversations, Steven D. Cohen, an award-winning speaker who leads career and academic workshops on public speaking at Harvard Extension School, argues that “they often detract from the listener’s ability to understand a...

Can’t Stop Saying “Um” or “Uh”? You’re Not Alone …

I was quoted in a popular article in Quartz on learning how to use filler words better. (UPDATE: My comments on filler words also were published in New York Magazine and Lifehacker.) Here is an excerpt: This is not a new phenomenon (the earliest use has been dated back to 1469), and it’s not exclusive to the English language. Filler words “appear in every language and every culture,” says Steven D. Cohen, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Baltimore. The English um, for example, has a Korean equivalent, eum and a French counterpart, euh. According...

The Secret to Stop Saying “Um” and Other Filler Words

I was interviewed for an article in BBC News on eliminating filler words in business conversations and meetings. Here is an excerpt: “We are so comfortable with our own vocal tendencies that we often overlook them,” said Steven Cohen, assistant professor of communication at the University of Baltimore in the US … Learn to diagnose your own “filler word hotspots” to better anticipate the changes you need to make to your speech, Cohen said. Often, people use fillers at the beginning or end of a sentence or while transitioning from one thought to the next, he explained. Being especially...

Do You Want to Become a Confident and Effective Speaker?

I am offering several executive education programs this summer to help professionals take their public speaking skills to the next level. June 13th & 14th Introduction to Public Speaking: Effective Presentation Skills Harvard Division of Continuing Education June 27th, 28th & 29th Using Your Voice to Lead: Effective Presentation Skills Georgetown University July 18th, 19th & 21st Effective Workplace Presentations Johns Hopkins Carey Business School August 1st & 2nd Introduction to Public Speaking: Effective Presentation Skills Harvard Division of Continuing...

Body Language and Communication in the Presidential Race

I was interviewed for an article in Baltimore Magazine on the impact of communication and body language in the presidential race. Here is an excerpt: Carson’s soft-spoken, “low-key” demeanor, derided by some, and regularly by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a conservative former GOP Florida congressman, and Trump, of course, is often mistaken for a lack of leadership ability, according to the University of Baltimore’s Steven D. Cohen. “Carson says his soft-spokenness is a strength, not a weakness and that’s a quote I’ve clipped out and shared with my students,” Cohen says. “I was...

Speak Up: Why You Should Take a Public Speaking Class

I was interviewed for an article in Slate on the importance of taking a public speaking class. As Nicholas Duchesne (who took one of my courses) explains in the article, “a public speaking class can help you land a job or deliver a punch line.” Here is an excerpt: “Public speaking affects your academic, personal, and professional lives,” says Steven D. Cohen, a communications professor at the University of Baltimore who has also taught at the University of Maryland and Harvard. He is proof of the poise that training in public speaking can provide. No ums, uhs, or likes...

Improve Your Presentation Skills This Summer at Harvard

I am offering several professional development programs this summer at Harvard University: Delivering Effective Presentations June 15th & 16th, 2015 / August 3rd & 4th, 2015 Whether your goal is to inform, persuade, sell, or inspire, your presentation skills are critical. The good news? Effective presenters are made, not born. This two-day program sets the foundation for delivering successful professional presentations, whether you are speaking at an intimate meeting, via a webinar, or on a stage. Click here to learn more about the program. You also can watch me...

Presenting Like a Pro: 7 Tips for Powerful Public Speaking

I offer some tips and tricks on speaking like a pro in the December issue of Student Health 101. Here is an excerpt of the article: Nail-biting? Check. Unavoidable? Check. Public speaking is likely in your future, whether you’ll be making a classroom presentation to your peers, giving a speech in an auditorium, or introducing a public event. Developing presentation skills enhances your academic, personal, and career opportunities (and also protects your nails). To learn more, read “Like a Pro: 7 Tips for Powerful Public Speaking.” Be sure to check out the...