Here’s the story on how LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach, Say It Media, Inc. and a new category called “Speech Fitness” were born…
In, December, 2015, Say It Media, Inc. was founded by Audrey Mann Cronin, veteran communications consultant in technology, digital entrepreneur, speaker and blogger/writer –along with her longtime colleague and college friend Phil Lam. With a mission to improve our communication skills, Say It Media creates fun and engaging solutions using the latest consumer technology.
In the spring of 2014, and while raising two teenagers at home, Audrey began a new venture, “Say it Like You Mean it,” (now, “Say It LikeSo!”) to empower young women (and men) to speak articulately and with conviction–and without the “like, ya know” syndrome. The response to her blog and presentations inspired her to delve deeper into the social and communication issues influencing ‘tweens, teens and young women and men growing up in our always-on, fast-paced, digital culture. Audrey created the Facebook community and blog Our Digital Daughters and cultivated a group of Digital Daughter Ambassadors from around the country to inform her writing.
Audrey was inspired to create LikeSo after a confluence of conversations took place during one defining week in May of 2014. First, her poised and well-spoken teenage daughter started injecting her sentences with “like,” “totally,” and “ya know.” Later that week, a former colleague reached out about his two brilliant co-workers, and how he cringed when he heard them speak on the phone and in meetings. And then – the crowning blow… her doctor, a top surgeon in her field, said that she had experienced these uninspiring verbal habits during high stakes situations, and even in the operating room. Something had to be done, and the idea for LikeSo was born.
We all want to speak in a way that inspires confidence – that compels others to listen. The excessive use of filler words (“like,” “ya know,” “whatever,” “so,” “totally,” “I mean,” etc.) weakens our speech, waters down our meaning and distracts our listeners. Whether giving a presentation, interviewing for a job or internship, meeting with a college recruiter, or just having a conversation, sounding self-assured and speaking articulately is paramount to being taken seriously.
A key contributor to this verbal crutch epidemic may be linked to our addiction to mobile devices. Tethered to our smartphones, and with so many social channels to communicate on, we reduce our opportunity to have articulate face-to–face conversations. And when it comes to real-time conversation, we are literally at a loss for words, and filling pauses with filler words.
The good news is that there is nothing pathological going on – and fixing these verbal habits is all about awareness and practice. We practice so many things – sports, music, writing, etc. How about practicing having a conversation without saying like five times in every sentence?
Audrey reached out to Phil with the idea to create an app that would use voice recognition technology to capture our filler words, help us practice speaking on the fly, and hone our “Speech Fitness.” With his extensive expertise in digital design and business, and two teenagers of his own for inspiration, he was integral to bringing LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach to life.
Once the development of LikeSo got underway, Audrey’s two teenagers, Amanda and Jake (her chief muses), jumped in. With Amanda’s keen eye and observation skills and Jake’s competitive skills and gaming experience, they became integral to the design and flow of LikeSo. Amanda and Jake are Say It Media’s Chief Youth Officers.
LikeSo is the first mobile app from Say It Media, Inc. LikeSo offers a fun and private way to train against our verbal habits and practice speaking articulately, confidently and without all of those “likes” and “sos.” LikeSo offers two modes: FreeStyle, your open mic, and TalkAbout: a conversation game for practicing speaking on the fly. LikeSo also measures pacing for the fast and slow talker. LikeSo is for your next presentation, interview, audition, date, debate – even your next conversation.
Now we will all be able to say it like so, without saying “like” and “so.”
(LikeSo is a trademark of Say It Media, Inc.)