Welcome readers and Happy Fall,
A lot of us are guilty of using verbal fillers in our everyday speech such as, Um, Uh, You know, like, and so forth. When used seldomly it’s not bad but frequent usage can be an annoyance to your listener. This can cause them to become distracted by it and thus lose interest in what you’re conveying. With that said, in this post, I’ll be explaining four tips to reduce verbal fillers in your speech. I say reduce instead of eliminate because verbal fillers will inevitably arise at some point depending on the circumstance.
- Get comfortable with silence (Mindset): We fill in the silence with filler words as a substitute for punctuation (periods and commas) with words such as um, uh, like, you know, etc… Furthermore, when the interaction goes silent we become self-conscious and think we’ll forget what we’re talking about or risk being interrupted mid-speech. If you’re long winded you’ll risk adding fillers as you move your point across. Moreover, whenever I record my podcast episodes I do my best not to add verbal fillers. Once I complete a sentence I stop talking (pause) and resume when ready. This gives the listener the chance to process what they heard.
- Develop a new habit with practice: Sometimes we’re unaware we’re saying filler words unless someone brings it to our attention. So to improve, practice slowing down your speech so you don’t stutter and visualize each sentence’s beginning and end. This will allow you to see your filler words stand out and stop yourself before saying them.
Say “period” and “pause” when practicing by yourself out loud and once you’re comfortable doing that, say it in your head or use another way so you can remind yourself to pause or end your sentence.
- Take a breath: This will help you be more composed and allow your speech to come out clearly.