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The Simplest Ways To Stop Saying “Um”, “Like” And Other Filler Words

The Simplest Ways To Stop Saying “Um”, “Like” And Other Filler Words

When I was starting as a Disc Jockey at the age of twenty, my spiels were full of “ums,” “likes,” and “aahs” so my supervisor called my attention to solve the problem asap.

Today, when I attend business seminars and meetings, I always encounter professionals unconsciously using these filler words. When “um,” “ahh,” “you know,” and “like” are used once or twice, there’s no issue at all. In fact, it makes people sound like they studied their words more carefully before speaking. The problem arises when people keep repeating them; this kills their credibility and makes them sound like a teenage school girl instead of a professional.

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Use speech rhythm.

You ramble, or use unstudied speech when you don’t plan and organize your talk. When you organize your thoughts and points prior to delivering a talk, you will speak better. Presentation and speech improvement trainer Ritchelle Blanco Dejolde, recommends that you chunk your sentences before speaking them, then pause for a while. Dejolde says, “Chunking your sentences will help you create a rhythm in your talk: spoken words/ then break/spoken words/ another break. Maintain that rhythm and your “aahs” and “um’s” will fly away or at least less used.”

Record yourself.

One of the first things I learned when I was training as a broadcaster was to record myself and listen intently on how I generally deliver speeches. It’s painful, excruciatingly painful to do this, but it’s absolutely necessary. To listen to your own voice and hear yourself committing mistakes while talking in front of a crowd is, to me, one of the most difficult part of my training as a broadcaster. Do this, listen well and study yourself, and the fillers you often use; you’ll cringe when you notice how frequently you express them. The moment you are conscious of those speech crutches, you will be more careful next time you address an audience. That’s the key: awareness. When you’re mindful of an error, admit that you commit it, then you’re on your way to correct it.

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Replace your “ums” and “likes” with pre-planned transitional fillers.

When you say “um” you are telling your audience you are gathering your thoughts and that your train of thought is not yet finished. A better alternative is to get ready with transitional phrases. Instead of saying “um” say “moving on,” or “why don’t we talk about,” or “another important point is…” When you start applying this lesson, you’ll feel a bit of a fake, but as you practice using these transitional phrases, they will start to sound more natural. You can apply the tip (recording yourself) before this while practicing and you’ll be on your way to polish your speaking skills.

Establish an intimate rapport.

They say the eyes are the windows to a man’s soul. Applying this in public speaking, make eye contact through out your speech and you will minimize using filler words. Why? It’s awkward to say “um” when you lock in a sincere eye contact with an individual. Experiment in your next seminar or meeting; position your body and gaze directly onto your audience giving it your most engaging attention. During a conference call, don’t stare at the window or the wall blankly, or pace the room unconsciously. Instead, check your script or notes. Basically, live audience, on-line, or on the phone, your fillers will come out lesser.

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In no time, with these effective strategies and with constant practice, I was able to lessen using fillers. Apply them in your talks and pretty soon, you will eradicate those credibility stealers from your speech.

Sources:

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Four Ways to Stop Saying “Um” And Other Filler Words

Here’s the Trick to Removing “Um” and “Like” From Your Vocabulary

Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: TEDx Athens va Compfight cc via compfight.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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