top of page

Filler Words: The Worst Habit in Public Speaking

I've been teaching public speaking for about ten years and there is one noise that kills me.

It uuuuuhhhhhhh.





You know the sort of thing?

One thing that absolutely destroys your credibility and influence are the filler words that make it sound like you aren't sure what you are saying. Rather than build credibility, they actually communicate doubt.

"So, the figures for this quarter are errrrrrrrrrm.... pretty good."

Do you know the figures or not? Do you actually work here? ERM followed by the word 'pretty', you are reducing the effectiveness of your communication, weakening your overall message. Now they don't trust you. Believe it or not, the flow of your public speaking dialogue makes an impact on your listener.

Have someone place your favourite song and randomly press pause whenever they feel like it. Let them do it twenty times. You'll be seething.

I had a professor when I was a student at UKC in the 90s, he was a lovely man, but he insisted on clearing his throat at the end of each sentence. People were driven insane by it. He was lovely, but it was hard to appreciate Italian comedy of the 18th century, when punctuated by throat clearing.

If you have FILLER problems, you might even pepper as much as 20% of your speech with these interrupting noises and words.

Most people suffer from filler words. In English, these terrible little filler words sound like: um, uh, er, erm, ah, like, okay, right, and you know.

You can train yourself to stop using most of these words. Notice that I said 'most'. Reduction, versus total elimination, that should be your goal.

If you're looking for a public speaking coach in Glasgow, or anywhere across Scotland or the UK. Reach out, I can help you improve your communication skills immediately!

Balance in All Things

Public Speaking Coach Scotland


bottom of page