Filler words such as "like," "um," "so," and "you know" are part of our everyday conversation. I’m not of the school that you can’t ever use filler words when you’re speaking, but if you’re using them every other word, it can be a big distraction for your audience. It’s harder for themto understand your message andfiller words can undermine your credibility in no time. So what can you do?
First, record yourself to see if you’re using filler works and how bad it is. A lot of people have no idea they’re using them until they hear themselves recorded.
If you find that you use a lot of fillers, insert a breath or a pause in place of the filler word. Start to practice this technique in low-stakes meetings. Write down your particular filler word on a post-it note as a reminder.
Another way to combat filler words is to slow down your delivery, extending your vowel sounds. So instead of, “we’re uh, facing, uh new challenges, uh, as we look, uh, at next year’s, uh, product line.” It’d be, “we’re facing new challenges as we look at next year’s product line."
So, to eliminate filler words:
-replace the filler word with a breath or pause
-extend your vowel sound