May 13th: Mentor’s Moment – Betty Nebelsky (DTM)

During Mentor’s Moment, Betty Nebelsky (DTM) gave us a few hints to eliminate filler words on our speeches.

Betty Nebelsky during Mentor's Moment.

Betty Nebelsky during Mentor’s Moment.

  1. Listen for filler words in other speeches and to your own filler words.  If you can’t hear them, ask others to listen for you.
  2. Why and when do you use filler words?  Is it a nervous habit or a bad habit?  Is it to fill in awkward pauses?  Or do you start a sentence with “um” to help you sound relaxed or informal?
  3. Once you identify a reason you use them, tackle that problem.  If you use them to stall when asked a question, repeat the question to buy time while you think.  If it’s to fill awkward pauses, try using, “in addition to”, “ on the other hand” or, “in other words”.  Your thoughts will flow easily.  Remember pauses are good.  They give you and your audience a break.
  4. Concentrate on leaving out filler words.  First try a few sentences, and then gradually expand. Keep your sentences short and simple, so your brain can generate them easily.

An excellent reminder Betty! Thank you!

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