How to Stop Saying "Um, Like, Ah, Uh, So, etc" . . . You Know, All that Stuff
Do you find yourself wishing you could stop using filler words? Ever tried to convince yourself that this is the presentation you will finally not say "um," only to die inside when five seconds in you utter your first, "ahhh."
You can get rid of these noises!
Generally speaking we use filler words because we are nervous. Find more on how to manage anxiety here.
Specifically, we use these utterances because the sound of silence terrifies us. But it should not make us nervous.
Silence during a presentation is quite useful. It gives the audience time to process information and anticipate the next statement, while it gives the speaker time to think. Furthermore, a well timed pause before and after a sentence can emphasize an important point.
When we are the presenter; however, our minds tell us silence is bad - it means the speech is boring and uninteresting. You must remind yourself this simply is not true, moments of purposeful pauses in a presentation are powerful.
So, how do you get rid of these sounds?
First, remember silence is golden - embrace it!
Second, in your regular conversations each day practice placing silence where you usually make noise. It may seem awkward at first, but it will become natural. Then, when it is your turn to present, just do what you are already doing in your day to day conversations.
It really is that simple, but like many things it takes discipline. Start today, in your next conversation give it a try and soon you'll be "um" free!