[Image by Florian Pircher of Pixabay]

We’re all familiar with the oral behavior of tongue clicking (or clucking).  In fact, we may have used tongue clicking inadvertently at some point in time.  If you’re unsure of what I’m discussing, this is what we hear or use when we’re just about to speak or occasionally we may use it in between thoughts or phrases.

Why is tongue clicking occurring? 

While not an exhaustive list, tongue clicking may occur as a result of: excess saliva in your mouth, a form of  a verbal filler to get our message started, a transition to assist in getting us to our next thought, it may help us insert a much needed swallow, or it may be a form of keeping up a rapid rate of speaking.

How do you know if you’re a tongue clicker?

I suggest you record yourself using one of your devices (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.).  Play back a sample and listen to see if you note this behavior.  If you’re uncertain, you may also seek professional feedback by sending this sample to a speech coach.

How disruptive is tongue clicking?

Tongue clicking is a speaking habit that your listeners may find annoying and distracting.  It also is extremely noticeable when doing an audio recording or podcast, requiring that it be removed in an edit.  In any situation, tongue clicking calls negative attention to itself and doesn’t serve you well.

What are ways to eliminate tongue clicking?

  1. Hydrate sufficiently prior to speaking if you experience a dry mouth.
  2. Modify your diet, as needed, to reduce or increase saliva production.
  3. Reduce your rate of speech.
  4. Pause where needed and swallow silently.
  5. Use shorter sentences or rewrite longer sentences.

Tongue clicking is relatively easy to eliminate and therefore something to pursue in order to sound your best.  If you’d like any assistance, please contact me dale@profitablespeech or 518-664-6004.