Picture this: you just nailed a presentation, and you even answered a full round of impromptu questions on-the-fly!
You’re riding high on positive feedback, but your manager also offers a constructive critique: you use a lot of filler words, and they’re distracting us from hearing some of your main points.
Suddenly, you start replaying the whole meeting in your mind.
When I emphasized that, “there are five key touchpoints that’ll help us bring this project to the finish line…” did I undercut my credibility by stammering, “there are uh, five key touchpoints that will, umm, help us bring this project to the finish line…”?
It’s by no means the end of the world (you still crushed that presentation), but now you’ve gotta figure out how to stop using filler words so they don’t get in your way next time.
No “uh, “um,” “like,” or “you know” is worth diluting your impact—but how exactly do you keep yourself from peppering in those words when you yourself hardly recognize you’re using them in the moment?
Check out this clip to learn my top tips to stop using filler words, so that you can speak more fluidly and articulately when it matters most:
The bottom line?
It’s extremely hard to remove “ums” and “uhs” from our communication—we’ve been trained to fill conversational silences since we started talking! But there are two important things you can rely on to help you avoid leaning on filler words:
Make sure you come to full stops.
This is the antidote to that filler impulse. Using full stops gives you time to calmly come up with what to say next, PLUS they give your listener a moment to put away the information you just shared.
By taking a silent beat without barreling through your next thought with a quick “uh,” you gift yourself—and your audience—with a conversational breather.
Complement your pauses with direct eye contact and engaged body language.
This keeps others from interrupting you! Because when your eyes and posture signal that you aren’t finished speaking yet, people are much less likely to take advantage of the pause as an invitation to talk over you.
At the end of the day, it’s much less about taking out every single “um” or “uh,” and more about embracing the power of the pause while using eye contact and body language to stay engaged and hold the floor.
You know you have brilliant things to share, and your expertise warrants fluid, articulate delivery! By remembering these two strategies to stop using filler words, you’ll be well on your way to expressing your knowledge as confidently and clearly as you intend to.
And if you want more clear, practical tips like these? Check out my brand new course, The Confident Communicator! ✨
Our self-guided course and resource library—which you can binge in a few days, take over the course of 4-8 weeks (to really integrate the skills), OR use a-la-carte as needed—will show you how to:
✔️ get in touch with your own, authentic communication style
✔️ articulate yourself clearly and answer tricky questions on the fly—without freezing up or speaking in circles
✔️ track your patterns and determine which habits are serving you and which are undercutting you
✔️ leverage your body language to feel more empowered in your own skin and convey the qualities you value
✔️ cultivate a genuinely confident mindset that’s grounded in your truth
✔️ speak about yourself and what you do in an engaging and “tailorable” way
✔️ build presentations in half the time, but with double the impact
So click here to learn more and enroll in The Confident Communicator today! You’ll also get 4 bonus coaching calls with me, so we can dig into your burning questions, role-play real-world situations, and get you speaking with more clarity and conviction than ever before!
And whether you decide to join The Confident Communicator or not, please remember: real, authentic confidence starts on the inside. It starts from trusting that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re inherently worthy as the YOU, you already are. ✨
All my love,
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