This Week's Tip: Count Filler Words
Filler words are the ums and ahhs and likes and verys of a speech. One or two are okay, but a bunch of them will annoy an audience. We usually say them while our brain tries to catch up with our mouth. An effective speaker uses few of these since they don't help the speaker. To get rid of them, you first need to understand how many of them you use. Listen to a recording of one of your presentations and count how many times you use a filler word. Alternatively, you can ask a partner to listen to one of your live sessions while you speak, and they can count them for you. Next, divide the number of filler words by the number of minutes in your speech. This will give you the number of filler words per minute which makes it easier to compare your performance from a 10 minute presentation to a 30 minute presentation. Once you have that key metric, then you can set a goal to reduce the filler words that you use.
Post Tip Discussion: Raise your Energy Level
We're all familiar with the high energy presenter who bounces around the stage, waving their arms, and loudly celebrating every slide. That's not the only type of high-energy presenter, though. A speaker can also demonstrate high-energy through a more intense, focused, and quiet style. It's not about being shy or low-key. It's about being quietly, intensely, deliberate in conveying a message. That's good because high energy of whichever type is important in a speech. Higher energy levels show the audience you care, make it easier to take the audience on a journey, keep the audience awake, facilitate audience connections, and make the speaker more compelling. There are several things speakers can do to increase their energy levels.
- Know your stuff
- Pace, stretch, do Jumping Jacks or generally move around back stage
- Refocus on a core message
- Vary your pitch, volume, and pace
Call To Action:
- What is your presentation style like? Why does it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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- Count your filler words
- Raise your energy level
- Don't get best...get better