Today’s question IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!
“How do I stop saying um or uhhh or like?”
We all do it and it’s perfectly fine when we’re relaxed amongst friends and chatting casually. But, when you’re pitching your business or selling a product on video or giving a public speech, saying “like or um,” every four seconds doesn’t leave a great impression! The GREAT news is, there’s a way to eliminate these words.
I want you to watch the video because I go in-depth into why we use these pesky lil words so you can visualize what’s happening in your brain. We call them “filler words,” because they are used to fill the gap in between your thoughts but they don’t mean anything!
I have two tricks to eliminate these powerless words:
When we’re nervous we tend to be uncomfortable with silence. The problem is, the less comfortable you are with silence, the more you try to fill that silence even if you’re brain isn’t ready to move on to the next thought. What happens next is we fill our sentences with useless filler words and don’t take the time to allow our brains to process what the hell we’re trying to say. Instead of filling…simply pause.
IT’S SO SIMPLE YET IT WORKS LIKE MAGIC!
Practice it now. I’ll give you an improv to do. Ok?
Take a deep breathe in and exhale. DO IT.
Ok, now – tell me a one-minute story about the first time you had a crush on someone and describe that person to me. GO! DON’T THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT IT JUST GO! START! OUT LOUD.
Now anytime you are getting stuck on where to take the story or to remember your thought, simply pause. Don’t fill. Stay connected to the story and the memory. Watch. Your brain will quickly catch up and give you your next word or thought. PAUSE and practice pausing if you aren’t used to this technique. Once you get used to it, you will be a dope-ass-non-filler-word-using-speaker who can go on camera and crush a video within one take with saying “uh or um,” once.
I also want you to notice which specific filler words you use. It’s different for all us. Jot down the filler words you use on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you’ll see it often. I want your brain to take notice of these words so it red flags them. What will happen is – before you open your mouth to say them, you’ll be triggered to pause instead and to replace these words with stronger vocabulary. It works wonders!!
ALSO – I didn’t mention this in the video because I forgot honestly (ha) BUT when you’re using filler words, your eyes will dart down or away from your audience and your body language will come across disconnected and less confident. Even if it’s for a second. Notice it. You’ll see it’s nearly impossible to look at someone in the eyes or connect with your audience and say “um,” at the same time. Watch videos of people when they use filler words. Their eyes look away or they look disconnected from the camera. This is a GIFT because as soon as you hear yourself using a filler word, know that it’s a sign that you need to slow down, keep eye contact up, engage, and get back into connection with your audience or the camera.
YOU GOT THIS!!!