Admit it; we've all done it before. We are in a presentation and just can't find the words. So, to give our mind more time to come up with the right words, we resort to the most awful phrases ever created. These phrases are officially on the “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER” use list for a presentation:
4. You know…
5. You know what I'm saying…..
Using these 5 fillers makes us sound unpolished and unprofessional. They make us appear to lack the commanding intellect needed to convey meaningful thoughts during a presentation.
Why do we use these words? Even reading them here is frustrating. But, I have found myself in a presentation situation where I got nervous, forgot where I was…..and there I go, Um….so….like I was saying……OOOOOW!
There are 2 reasons why people who are presenting use these words often.
The first is based on a lack of preparation for the material they are presenting. So, that is the easiest to fix. Prepare better before your presentation, and you can minimize the use of these vile words.
The second is much, much, much harder to fix, but not impossible. This is based on the fact that we do not use punctuation in our speech. When we speak, we do not end a phrase and say comma, or semicolon, or even period―new paragraph. The lack of clearly identified punctuation in our speech is the root cause of our use of these terrible phrases. We use Um, So, Like, You know as placeholders for punctuation.
So, how do we refrain from using these phrases when presenting? The answer is not exactly simple, but it is straightforward.
First, SLOW DOWN! It is okay to speak more slowly, and it is also okay to have minor pauses between sentences.
Second, tape yourself speaking during a meeting. It will only take one time for you to be horrified at your excessive use of Um, So, You Know!
The next time you are on a conference call, or sitting in a meeting where someone is presenting, start counting how many times people use these phrases. I guarantee you will hear it 25 times in a 45-minute meeting. Once you see how often it occurs, counting the number of times these words are used as fillers will actually be an all consuming ritual for a period of time.
You now have the tools to eliminate these phrases, and remember…practice makes perfect…Ya know?
>> Click here to return to Brand Incites blog page