Have you ever noticed there are two words President Obama uses frequently during interviews? Bill McGowan has. And he says they are "verbal bridges" meant to buy the president time or avoid the question.
McGowan is an expert on speech and talking to the media. He's a former journalist who heads Clarity Media Group, coaches celebrities on public speaking and has written a book about the topic.
"He has two words that he uses that accomplishes the same thing," McGowan told "Freakenomics" author Stephen Dubner during a podcast last month regarding Obama. "One of them is, 'look.' And the 'look' means-- he's trying to convey it as, 'Let me be frank with you.' Or the other word he uses is, 'listen.' And whenever you hear 'look' or 'listen' come out of the president's mouth, that means he's no longer answering your question, he's answering his question."
You can listen to McGowan's interview and audio evidence blow starting at the seven-minute mark:
So the next time you watch or hear the president answer questions and detect those two words, according to McGowan that's the cue to understanding he's buying himself some time or about to shift from actually answering what he was asked.