Speaking Professionally: Recognizing and Eliminating Filler Words in Your Speech

Deborah B. McGregor
Recognizing when you use filler words is the first step to reigning in their use.

Recognizing when you use filler words is the first step to reigning in their use.

kali9 via iStock

Many of us use informal filler words such as “um,” “OK,” “like,” or “you know” in our everyday speech. Such informal language is common and usually acceptable if it is not peppered throughout our speech. However, when speaking as a professional, filler words cause your speech to be far less effective. It is during more formal presentations when those filler words often emerge, usually due to nerves. Though it is not easy to eliminate the habit of using filler words, it can be accomplished with a conscious effort.

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