Watch out Words–It’s fair enough. We all have our little vocal tics, words that are our ‘go to’ words, words we habitually pepper our speech with and often use to pad out what we say when we’re unsure or nervous when we’re talking about something. It’s important to be aware of and watch out for some of these words because they can start to undermine your message when you’re speaking or presenting.
What to watch for;
Non words – filler words
“um, arr, basically, y’know.”
They make you sound less fluent, more hesitant and therefore they do not project conviction or authority.
“Sort of, kind of, maybe, perhaps.”
The nett result is usually that the speaker just ends up sounding tentative and unsure and their words are taken less seriously.
“Just, only, a bit.” Under playing results, for example, can either damage your credibility or sound like false modesty and can be as damaging as over playing your achievements and being perceived as bragging.
A certain amount of Fillers, Qualifiers or Minimisers are not a problem, they’re normal and conversational, but watch out and be aware of what you do. The good news is however that by being aware of what you tend to do, that in itself will help you self-correct.