Why to stop using sentence-fillers

Picture of Frederick Dodson

Frederick Dodson

If you go “uhm” and “uh” and “well” and “so” too much, it makes you look insecure.

Instead of using fillers, use SILENCE. That makes you look

PRESENT

and

POWERFUL.

I’ve conditioned myself to stop using fillers as often as I catch them.

Injecting space/silence allows listeners to process what’s been said. It draws attention to you because the listener is expectant of what’s next. Brabbling on without pause (as so many do – a habit picked up from TV programming) does not radiate presence, self-control or situational awareness.

Think Don Corleone.

Or Clint Eastwood in old western movies.

Can you imagine them brabbling on without pause? No? Why not? Because it would make them look cartoonish, not in control. That kind of speaking may be good for entertainment comedy but not much more.

Another sign of insecurity is doubles/repeats as in “this is the program for that. This is the program!”, as if someone isn’t listening and you have to emphasize. I used to do this. The underlying belief is “people aren’t listening”. It’s similar to using ALL CAPS too often. If you write everything in all caps, you write nothing in all caps.

Putting pauses in your speech allows the things you ARE saying to have more impact.

I shorten my articles by at least 30%. The text flows more instead of “rambling on”.

For example, the paragraph above originally read

“At times when I’m writing, I’ve learned to shorten my articles”.

I shortened that to

“In writing, I’ve learned to shorten my articles”.

Then I shortened it to

“I shorten my articles”.

That’s how I transform my writing from moronic to readable.

If I’m in seminar and get caught up in rambling on, justifying myself or over-explaining, I think “Clint Eastwood” and I’m right back in the Captains chair.

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