Articles tagged: filler words

Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique.

If you do it right, nobody is conscious of your pauses, but your ideas are communicated more persuasively.

If you do it wrong, your credibility is weakened, and your audience struggles to comprehend your message.

In this article, we examine:

  • benefits of effective speech pauses;
  • techniques for using pauses naturally (there are more than you think); and
  • communications research which provides clues to why pauses help us communicate effectively.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
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Filler words — including um and uh — are never written into a speech, and add nothing when a speaker utters them.

Yet these insidious verbal hiccups are ubiquitous, uttered by most speakers in most speeches every day.

Robin Hutchins writes:

I teach a college speech class. The most common struggle my students have is the use of filler words such as um and uh. Do you have a strategy that helps to omit filler words?

What can be done? Is it hopeless?

In this article, we examine why filler words have a negative impact on your effectiveness, and learn a five-step strategy for reducing them.

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Editor’s Note: As I watched the video contained in this article, my 7-year-old daughter peered over my shoulder and proclaimed “Dad, she’s doing bad stuff.”

True, but sad, since so many speakers perpetuate these communication barrier habits. I invited the video’s creator — Stacey Hanke — to share it with Six Minutes readers, and here is her article for you.

Most individuals are unaware of the static they create when they communicate. What do I mean by static? Static is created when what you say is inconsistent with how you say it.

For example, suppose you’re having a conversation and the other person says, in a boring, monotone voice, “I’m so excited to have this opportunity to work with you.” Their facial expressions are lifeless. They never look you in the eye while they’re fidgeting with a pen. Most likely you’d question their credibility and knowledge, and not take action on what they have to say.

This article will increase your awareness of the static you are creating for your listeners, and give you practical, immediate tips to have more impact and influence.

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No other two letter word says so much when a speaker says so little.

Except perhaps ah or uh or so.

Are filler words the most sensational speaking sin you can commit? Or do they make you imperfectly human and help you connect with your audience?

The topic has created quite a buzz in public speaking blogs recently, so read on to find out what the experts are saying.

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