avoid -filler- words

Avoid Filler WordsFiller words do just that – they fill spaces. They are unnecessary words and phrases that cover verbal gaps.

Speakers and presenters often use them out of a fear of silence & tend to repeatedly employ the same words or phrases - something an audience will quickly notice.

Common filler words and phrases

"All right there's a few things to go through today so I'll get started I guess. Err the first item on the agenda is you know the most important and uhh it's also something we just should all have a say in really. Now so if anyone would like to share their thoughts we'll have a discussion at the end but well first I should go through the err data, okay..."

Some of these words and phrases will be found more at the beginning of sentences, for example ‘so’ and ‘now’, whilst others tend to appear at the end of sentences like ‘okay’. Here’s a simple technique to help you reduce these appearing the next time you speak: 

Firstly you need to heighten your awareness of your own speech patterns and notice the repetitive words and phrases. Then try simply replacing these words with a PAUSE. It sounds simple, and it is. It just may not be easy initially.

Below are a pair of sentences where fillers are often used:

"Now it’s important we all fill those sheets in. Right are there any more questions?"

These will have much more impact, simply through replacing the filler words with pauses:

"{PAUSE} It's important we all fill those sheets in. {PAUSE} Are there any more questions?"

Often your own level of awareness will begin to inform your brain to switch from the word to the pause. It’s important that you are replacing the word with the pause, as the brain likes to put something in its place.

NEXT: 'be present in the moment'

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