This is what I heard, when I played back a recording of my public speaking prep.

Like many people, I use these words to fill the gap whenever I’m thinking of what to say next. And it just doesn’t sound good. Right?!

So, after a little online exploration, I found a tip that change this: a tip that seemed perfect for me.

Instead of these ‘filler’ words – PAUSE.

Not only doesn’t this do the same job, by allowing your brain to think of what’s coming next. But it also keeps your audience keen and interested.

I’ve mentioned in my last blog, quick reactions come from a place of powerlessness. My own need to fill the silence is generally fuelled by social anxiety.

But slow reactions, come from a place of power, comfort and confidence.

Even if you’re not feeling this way, forcing yourself to pause rather than ummmm your way through a speech, might actually encourage feelings of confidence.

Having tried this in my public speaking, I must say it feels pretty great to look around the room and see that people will just quietly wait to hear what you’re going to say next. It didn’t feel awkward and it didn’t feed anxiety. It felt powerful. I felt powerful.

Try listening out for your own conversational filler words, and see if you wouldn’t prefer a little quiet time as well.

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