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