Like, you know, I don’t know!

This is not a political blog and not a political statement. This is in no way a condemnation of Caroline Kennedy. This is a warning from someone who cares about communicators.

If you want to be taken seriously as a communicator, banish the sophomoric, useless words “Like” and “you know” from your vocabulary.

Those words do nothing but distract from your message and add to the mistaken perception that you still might be hanging with the middle school gang.

All other considerations aside, Caroline Kennedy’s run for office was in no small part derailed by…. you know… her…. you know… inability to communicate like an adult.

In the above video, that runs about 150 seconds, Ms Kennedy used the words “you know” 30 times. If my math is right, that’s about once every 5 seconds. The only time such communication would be valuable in the senate would be during a filibuster.

I rode with a college graduate being considered for a position on our team. I asked him to tell me why he wanted to work with us. Before he stopped talking he had used the word “like” 51 times. Yes, I counted. How do you.. like.. tell someone that.. like.. language.. like.. counts.

In our Dynamic Communicators Workshop we remind people that silence is golden. It is much more affective to pause and silently think about your next words than to fill that time with worthless sound.
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, I encourage you to do as we do in our workshop. Occasionally record yourself speaking. Listen to yourself, and relentlessly remove the weeds from your vocabulary. You will be taken more seriously and you might get the job.


  1. I’ve just caught up on reading your last 5 blog posts…although the topics were varied, i found myself being entertained, I laughed, I cried (laughing so hard), I was challenged to examine my speech patterns, i decided to definitely not get a myspace acct and capped off my social networking for the time being at least til randy elrod convinced me otherwise!!

  2. Caroline also says um a lot too. I’ve been told that often if your not sure what to say take a deep breath and think about what your about to say. Otherwise it makes it sound like you don’t know what you are really talking about.

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