Auto-suggest helps you quickly narrow down your search results by suggesting possible matches as you type.
Showing results for
Search instead for
Did you mean:
Constant Contact wants to help you succeed! We’re celebrating our professional service programs on the Constant Contact Community this month and you have a chance to try one of the services for free! Learn more.
Filler words include "um," "ah," and words such as "like," "so," and "ok," which are used as a verbal bridge to the next word.
These words just fill in space while you remember or think of something to say next. Rather than being effective bridges, they are roadblocks, distracting the audience and interrupting the flow of your message. These filler words weaken your presentation and give the impression that you don't know what you're talking about. Starting every other sentence with fillers (for example, "you know" or "like I said") can also be interpreted as verbal expressions of your anxiety or lack of confidence.
The good news is that you can learn to eliminate filler words. And like with so many bad habits, the first step towards change is to become aware that you're using them.
How can you become conscious of the filler words you use? Listen to yourself as you speak, record yourself or ask someone in the audience. Or attend a Toastmasters meeting (an international organization dedicated to helping people improve their public speaking www.toastmasters.org) , where there is an official Um and Ah Counter. He or she tallies up all the filler words used by the speakers and then reports on it at the end of the meeting. The point is to hear yourself using them so you can cut them out.
Once you have become aware of when you use fillers, here's how to eliminate them:
Stop speaking when you hear yourself use a filler word.
SILENTLY pause instead of filling the space with words.
Move on to your next word.
Here's an exercise that you can use to practice this at home:
Speak for 1-2 minutes about something you know, like your job or what you did today.
Every time you hear yourself using a filler word, STOP, breathe and repeat that sentence – eventually, with more practice, you will get through the entire 2 minutes without using any filler words!
Cutting out your filler words will help you convey your message to the audience without any distractions getting in the way. And you'll sound more polished and professional.
Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people improve their presentation and communication skills so they can be more successful. Sign up to receive more public speaking and networking strategies from Gilda's e-newsletter: http://www.gildabonanno.com/Pages/newsletter.aspx
Confidence. Influence. Success. Gilda Bonanno LLC: Training, Speaking & Coaching focused on Presentation Skills, Communication & Leadership
www.gildabonanno.com | email@example.com Blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com Videos www.youtube.com/user/GildaBonanno google.com/+GildaBonannoSpeaker
You can post a new message in the Community or find us on Twitter Mon-Fri 8am-8pm ET, Sat 10am-8pm ET, & Sun 10am-6pm ET. We've got real people waiting to help you out. Click below to start a conversation!