One of my biggest gripes is about people who are in media roles and can’t speak well.
You have heard the ones I mean.
☝️ They use upspeak at the end of their sentences. (It is not a question…it is a statement)
🚴♀️ They speak too quickly, and their words meld together. (Yes, say each word as if it was an individual word…because it is!)
👂 My biggest annoyance is when an announcer uses repetitive filler words.
There is a local breakfast announcer whose favourite word is “mate“.
Like all filler words, it isn’t a problem if you use it sparingly.
But in this case, he uses it at the end of every sentence when interviewing a guest. Ggrrrr.
In fact, listening on Wednesday he repeated it 5 times without saying anything else. Mate, mate, mate, mate, maaaaate.
Yep, annoying and unexpected from a professional announcer.
Avoid using filling your presentations with filler words!
There long list of filler words people use instead of taking a pause or simply being silent.
Not just the usual um, er, and uh.
- You see
- You know/you know what I mean
- I mean
- I guess/I suppose
- Or something
Can you relate to overusing any of these like my announcer mate?
This quote by E.B. White is clear.
“There isn’t any thought or idea that can’t be expressed in a fairly simple declarative sentence, or in a series of fairly simple declarative sentences.”
3 ways to stop using filler words
1. Notice them: listen to yourself
Listen to yourself talk, and try to figure out which filler words you are overusing.
2. Pause, think, speak
The number one way to get rid of the filler words is to take a couple of seconds to think about what you want to say. These short pauses of complete silence can serve two purposes: they will help you begin powerfully, and it will help you avoid using a filler word.
3. Use short sentences, s-l-o-w-l-y
Use simple and short sentences. The longer and more complex the sentence, the more likely you are to use fillers. Use more simple, clear sentences.
This will help you get your point across clearly, without leaning heavily on fillers.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to slow down. When you talk quickly, your brain goes into overdrive trying to supply your mouth with the next set of words, and it becomes very easy to let fillers through.
If you slow down, you’ll be able to catch and cut the fillers, with the added benefit of being more understandable.
Reducing fillers and keeping your language clean and clear is ideal, but coming off as natural and human is just as important to be relatable.
Are you ready to step out as a speaker and want to ensure have ticked all the boxes that will engage and entertain your audience (without the filler words), look at attending the upcoming 1-Day Professional Speaking Masterclass on March 24.
It is a day of participation and practice.
Click for details and claim one of the final few places still available.
Wishing you success as an engaging speaker.