“Umm”, “like”, “so” … 3 ways to stop using FILLER WORDS, like, right now!
Is the way you speak polished? Or is every other word you say an “umm”, “soo” or “like”?
These pesky words show up all the time. They’re called filler words, and they’re meaningless. They show up when you’re thinking of what to say next, and usually denote hesitation or “fill” a pause.
According to a 2017 New York Times article, everyone uses them. However, some do so more than others. The problem? When overused filler words make you sound confused, nervous, and insecure.
So, how do you stop using them?
Here are 3 easy ways to stop using them, right now, even when you’ve no idea what to say and are being called to speak on the spot.
1. START WITH AWARENESS
More often than not, we don’t even realize that we’re using filler words, and how many we’re using. The first step is to bring awareness to it. You can start being more mindful about your speech patterns, but you can also go to the next level by recording yourself and listening back. It might be cringeworthy, but it’ll also be so insightful as it’ll allow you to understand when you tend to use filler words.
Often we use filler words when we’re uncomfortable with silence. We think we’re going to come across as unprepared if we have nothing to say, or if we pause for more than 0.5 seconds. In reality, the opposite is true. Constantly speaking, speaking too fast, and using filler words — those are the things that make you feel unpolished and unsophisticated. So, shift your mindset: it’s okay to pause, and it’s okay to be silent instead of using filler words.
3. THINK IN ADVANCE
When we’re asked a question, we think we have to answer right away. Instead, it’s totally okay to take a few seconds to think about your answer in advance, before you start talking. What I recommend is to create a quick mind map of what you’re going to say, what’s the end goal, and what are the talking points you’d like to touch on. In this way, you’ll have clarity before starting to speak, and your delivery will change completely.
AND NOW ONTO YOU, WHICH STRATEGY ARE YOU GOING TO USE?
Let me know in the comments below.