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How to Stop Saying “Um”, “Like”, and Other Filler Words

Everyone makes use of filler phrases sometimes. I’m undoubtedly responsible of it myself!

You’ll even hear massive celebrities like David Letterman or Terri Gross use filler phrases when you pay attention to them for a couple of minutes. It’s not a huge deal if it’s one thing that you simply solely do each once and a while.

The issue is when your speech becomes so filled with filler phrases that it begins to take away out of your message. Individuals may find themselves so irritated by it that they start to rely each “like” or “um” that you simply’re saying as an alternative of truly taking in your message.

In case you assume that may be the case for you, then I’ve obtained a number of recommendations on how to cease saying um, like, you realize, and other widespread filler phrases.

You is perhaps questioning why we use filler phrases to start with.

Think of the little spinning circle in your pc when it’s making an attempt to load info. Our brains are principally computers, and when there’s a niche between your mind connecting one word to the subsequent, it could create a pure area that filler words rush in to fill.

Filler phrases harm shows. But even should you’re not presenting, the best way you converse nonetheless impacts how individuals understand you. We’ve all heard someone with that stereotypical “valley girl” accent that seems to use the phrase “like” every different phrase. Regardless of whether or not it’s true or not, overusing filler words could make you seem unsure or much less clever.

Dropping the filler words out of your vocabulary could make you seem extra organized and assured. Individuals will take what you say extra significantly and offer you more respect. It’s sad that these superficial details can distract from an otherwise compelling message. But at the end of the day it’s simply human nature.

Now you’re in all probability questioning how to keep away from filler phrases exactly. Properly listed here are a number of of my favourite methods that may help take away the “ums” and “ahs” out of your vocabulary.

1. Get Snug With Silence

Silence is the rationale that folks really feel compelled to use filler phrases to begin with.

We attempt to fill the silence in our speech with filler expressions because we fear about what it can sound like. We fear that folks will assume that we’ve lost monitor of what we have been speaking about.

However letting silence develop into a pure part of your speech truly provides emphasis and permits individuals to contemplate our message for a second and let it sink in.

2. Report Yourself Talking

For those who aren’t positive in the event you use a variety of ums and likes in your speech, an excellent place to begin is to document yourself talking naturally for a couple of minutes.

Most cell telephones have a recording app that you should use to report your voice.

In case you don’t have entry to any type of microphone, you possibly can simply follow speaking a bit of louder than you often would. This alone is a strong device that may permit you to hear your filler words and turn into more aware of them.

You’ll shortly see if filler phrases are a problem for you!

three. Exchange Filler Words With The Word “Period” or “Pause”

Think about that you simply’re ending the sentence with a period each time that you simply make a pause in your speech.

“Period” or “pause” are great phrases to use as an alternative of filler phrases. This is one among my favorite methods, and personally I feel it’s one of the crucial highly effective ones. It’s particularly powerful for those who wrestle with “ums” and “ahs” between sentences.

Start by replacing the word “like” or “um” with the word period or pause. Truly say the word out loud.

In case you would sometimes say “My favorite fruit is a banana. Uhhhh… that’s because bananas are yellow. Um… and yellow is my favorite color.”

As an alternative say:

“My favorite fruit is a banana. PERIOD. That’s because bananas are yellow. PERIOD. And yellow is my favorite color!”

It should really feel fairly unusual at first, however give it a shot. Obviously don’t begin shouting the phrase PERIOD in the midst of sentences once you’re at work. But should you’re just talking with a family member or a pal, let them know what you’re making an attempt to do and they’ll perceive.

When you’re snug saying the phrase interval or pause out loud, then start doing it silently in your head. If you’re silently saying interval or pause in your head, your mouth ought to be absolutely closed. In any other case filler words have a tendency to slip out. Imaging a fly buzzing around your mouth if that helps you keep it closed!

Ultimately you’ll get to the point you can drop the interior “period” and “pause” solely and just be snug with the silence.

four. Stop And Take A Breath

Stop utilizing filler phrases and simply take a breath as an alternative!

Taking a breath is an effective choice if you want to cease for a cut up second and think of an answer.

It should make you seem much more assured and composed.

As an alternative of saying “I want to get, like, Chinese food for dinner,” do this as an alternative… “I want to get (inhale) Chinese food for dinner.”

5. Identify Them And Shame Them

A good way to make your self acutely aware of your filler words is to write down an inventory of them and hold them on your desk or somewhere that you simply’ll see them a number of occasions each day.

The repetition of seeing the filler phrases will assist make your brain extra aware of them in your everyday speech. After just a few days you may begin to catch yourself saying filler words extra typically. Being conscious of them is step one towards eliminating them!

Everyone has totally different filler phrases, so having an inventory of your worst offenders will really assist hone your attention in on them.

6. The “Uh” Bell

Get a family member or a pal to maintain a bell or pull up an annoying buzzer noise on their telephone. Have them pay attention to you speak, and get them to make a noise each time you employ a filler word.

You’ll want to shield your self from hearing the annoying noise and will naturally start to use filler words much less and less typically. This system works so properly that even just 5 minutes day-after-day for every week will actually help begin to condition you.

I received the thought of the “uh” bell from Toastmasters, which is a gaggle of worldwide clubs that target selling public talking and communication expertise. In the event you actually need to take your public speaking to the subsequent degree, I’d advocate in search of a Toastmasters group in your area.

7. Chunk Your Info

Filler phrases slip into our speech once we don’t know what we’re going to say prematurely.

Should you break your sentences into chunks ahead of time, you’re less probably to resort to utilizing fillers.

Breaking your speech up into chunks in your head before speaking creates a natural rhythm. You’ll say a bunch of phrases, then take a pause. Then say another bunch of phrases, pause again, and repeat.

Like other methods I’ve talked about, this one can take some work to get sounding pure when you’re talking.

eight. Make Eye Contact

You’re less probably to use filler words like “um” or “ah” when you’re wanting someone instantly in the eye.

A part of why we use filler phrases comes from a lack of confidence, and making eye contact with someone will help to increase your confidence.

The subsequent time that you simply’re in a gathering, attempt talking individually to individuals one on one and look them within the eye. See if this helps you to use fewer filler phrases than simply speaking to the room as an entire.

9. Take A Second To Calm Your self Down

Should you’re about to give an enormous speech (or even when you just have some huge information to share with a family member or pal), take a number of seconds to calm your nerves before you start. I discover that taking a deep breath is a wonderful method to immediately scale back your stress and rigidity in a big method. Just be sure that not to inhale audibly in order that it seems like an enormous sigh to everyone around you!

If you find yourself getting flustered in the midst of your speech, don’t be afraid of taking a deep breath to regroup and reset. It’s typically better than making an attempt to wrestle by way of for several more minutes with out enjoyable first.

10. Hold Your Palms Out Of Your Pockets

Individuals perceive audio system who use non-verbal communication like hand gestures to be extra confident and persuasive.

In case you hold your palms in your pockets, you’re ignoring an essential device at your disposal. That device is the power to use gestures to emphasize your speech.

Having your palms in your pockets also makes you both look and feel insecure. And if you don’t really feel confident, the variety of filler words that you simply use tends to go up.

So don’t hold your palms in your pocket or feel like you want to hold your arms at your sides if you’re speaking. Just let your arms do their natural factor, and the phrases will come out higher and with much less filler.

11. Maintain Your Sentences Brief

You’ve in all probability listened to someone who seemed to do a number of talking, however not truly get a whole lot of info throughout.

The longer that your sentences are, the more possible it is that you simply’ll begin including filler into them.

Brief sentences sound much more assured and forceful. Plus they get the message across more clearly.

So attempt to hold your sentences brief, sweet, and to the point!

In addition to slicing out filler words, you additionally want to minimize out hedge words like “probably” “just” and “hopefully.” These phrases make it sound such as you’re not confident about your ideas and are walking on eggshells in case you’re mistaken or may offend any person.

12. Preparation Is Key

The more  that you simply’ve ready what you want to say, the less probably you’re to use filler phrases.

Should you’re giving a speech, repeat it out loud or in your head a number of occasions prematurely earlier than you need to truly ship it.

Should you’re going right into a one-on-one meeting together with your boss or have an essential conversation to have together with your vital different, take into consideration the message that you want to get across. In addition to what a few of their almost certainly objections could also be. That means you’ll be more prepared and gained’t be caught off-guard if the dialog doesn’t go exactly as you had hoped.

The brisker the knowledge is in your thoughts, the less possible it’s that you simply’ll need to rely on filler words when you’re retrieving the knowledge out of your reminiscence.

13. Understand That You’re Your Own Worst Critic

No one can tell that you simply’re nervous, and most individuals listening to you gained’t decide up on all the little mistakes that notice your self making. That’s true whether you’re talking to an audience or perhaps a group of pals who knows you properly.

Your pauses are also in all probability method shorter than they really feel in your head. Once we’re presenting, it could feel like we’re shifting and talking in sluggish motion. Typically it could even really feel such as you see individuals within the audience blinking in sluggish movement when you’re talking.

A three second pause can really feel like an eternity to you when you’re talking. However to other individuals in a gathering with you, it’s going to in all probability look utterly natural or go totally unnoticed.


So how do you stop saying um, like, uh, and different filler words? Now you need to have a reasonably good concept.

Hopefully at the least one of the methods I’ve talked about right here will resonate with you. Be happy to attempt whichever you assume will help probably the most. Or even mix a number of of them together.

Often the hardest part is realizing that we’ve a problem with filler phrases. Now that you simply’re conscious that you simply use filler phrases, you just want to make a acutely aware effort to scale back your use of them.

The excellent news is that it isn’t a hard behavior for most people to overcome. For the primary few days, you may always end up slipping up and adding “likes” and “ums” to your conversations. However when you actually watch your self, before lengthy you possibly can anticipate to see an enormous improvement in the way you sound to other individuals.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not the top of the world of filler words creep into your vocabulary from time to time. However now you’ve acquired the methods to feel confident and more in management about the way you’re coming throughout to different individuals.

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