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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 September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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