Those pesky little words that we use to fill silence as we decide what to say next. These words and sounds keep us from sounding confident. They weaken our messages. My speech teacher called them "word whiskers".
I hear them often when I work with sales people. Which sound familiar to you?
"We're JUST going to "THROW IN" these 10 FREE spots per week."
Notice how the use of "just" and "throw in" diminishes the importance of what we are giving to our clients? "Throw in" implies little thought and less value.
Another set of word whiskers I hear is "This page is KIND OF a...." It is or it isn't. "Kind of" weakens our message.
I have also heard "LIKE". This seems to be the new catch phrase for young people. "It's, like, the best way to communicate, like, you know, a good way to say it."
Like, like, like. I DON'T like like!
"But, yeah", "Uh", "So","Sort of". Sound familiar?
There is nothing wrong with a few seconds of silence.
One of the best ways to know if you use these word whiskers is to record yourself before you present to your clients. Listen to how you say what you say. Tiny words can sabotage our message and drive our clients to distraction. Think about how carefully our on-air compatriots choose their words. We should take a lesson from them.
In addition to what we say, it is very much how we say it. Say it with gusto!