Like, um, uh, ya know, actually, just, so, honestly, truly, literally… the list goes on and on. These pesky little words get slipped into our narratives, descriptions, presentations and daily conversations. All of us have at least one filler word, even if we don’t notice it, ourselves. It won’t take extra time to cut them out – it will just take extra effort.
Here are two easy steps to cut out your filler words:
- First, find out what your fillers are. You can’t change a habit until you realize it’s there. Record a voicemail to yourself and then play it back. Take notes on what fillers you hear. Common fillers to watch for: “like,” “just,” “um,” “uh,” “actually,” “you know,” “honestly,” “literally,” and – of course – “so.” Chances are, you use some of the same filler words as people around you.
- Then, practice pausing. When you pause, you’ll naturally drop the filler words. Record another voicemail, and be intentional about pausing. Challenge yourself to pause for longer than it feels comfortable. The average pause is only about half a second. Try and stretch that out to 2 – 3 seconds.