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So, This Game Really Um Helps People Like Speak More Articulately
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Nick Harman aims to help people clean up their language with this game.
   
Thursday, November 17, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

“I’m like…uh…er….”

A Ketchum man has come up with a novel idea to delete these all-too-frequently used words from the English language.

Nick Harman has invented “and I’m like…” a buzzer edu-game that challenges players to keep “likes” and other overused words in check.

 
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The game has several moving parts.
 

Though just out, the game has already made a splash with the 280,000-plus-member Toastmasters International, a worldwide organization with chapters in 144 countries that helps people hone their public speaking and learn to think on their feet. Toastmasters International just launched the game on their website.

“I gave them 40 games for their international conference in Nashville this fall, and they sold all 40 that first morning,” said Harman, a valued employee of The Argyros when he’s not being entrepreneurial.

The game helps people become aware of how many times they use crutch fillers like “ummm” and “ahhh.”

Harman advises that slowing down the conversation is the easiest way to stop using such crutches.

 
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Here are some of the words people use as crutches.
 

“Don’t be afraid to pause,” said Harman.

The game is perfect for those readying themselves for job interviews or for executives giving speeches, he said. It can even be used as a fun initiative in schools, he said, pointing out the efforts of one school in the United Kingdom to stop students from repeatedly using the word “like” in order to help them become more articulate.

The game is suitable for between two and six players ages 6 and older. It includes 30 Like chips, 40 Q cards with three topics on each, 18 Buzz word cards, including three blank cards, a game board, buzzer and 60-second sand timer.

“At the beginning you decide which words you’re going to try to avoid saying. Then you get the conversation going with the Q cards. You might, for instance, have 30 seconds to tell how you resolved a recent dispute. Or, you might do improv, with something like, ‘You have been my best friend, but I have to tell you…’

 
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Here are a few of the questions, improv suggestions and storylines to get the conversation going.
 

“Finally, we have a story category where one person starts a story off and hands it off to the next person to continue it.”

Questions include: “Which of your family members are you most like and why?” “What makes you happy?” “What three things are you most grateful for?” and “What job did you want as a child and why?”

Improv suggestions include: “I’m so sorry—I know it is the day of the wedding, but we seem to have double-booked the church” and “You knew it was our anniversary, today, right?”

Story lines might start with: “Engine failure. We were now on our own lost in space. I looked over to the right and …” Or, “The movie smashed all box office records. I was instantly famous. I walked outside my front door and …”

While carrying on the conversations, players hit the buzzer if they hear an opponent say a Buzz Word, stealing one of their opponent’s chips. The first player to reach 10 chips wins.

Harman started developing the game during COVID at the same time he did his Randimals—fantasy animals that are now the subject of two books.

“A friend of mine would say, ‘like’ so many times I finally recorded her and tabulated the numbers,” Harman said. “She was saying one of these words every 35 seconds. Having done that, I began hearing others say the words, as well, and so I decided why not come up with a fun game that would call attention to this and provide solutions to curtail these words.”

The game is available locally at Madeline and Oliver store on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum. It is also available at https://www.andimlike.com and on the Toastmasters website at https://www.toastmasters.org/shop/6966--And-Im-Like-Game

Harman is also working on an app that will allow players to play with other players around the world.

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