Like, ah & um …

15 May

word-fillersThese words are what I call “credibility killers.” As a former Public Speaking Instructor, it’s just one of my pet peeves when people use them.  That & vocal fry, but that’s another story (!!)

As voice talents, we know NOT to use these credibility killers at all — unless they are in the script.  Then, we have to make them seem believable!  However, I find it interesting that these words do make up a lot of people’s everyday language.

It’s important to know these words  will weaken your message. Simply put, they’re distracting for your listeners and they make you sound unsure of yourself!

If you find yourself doing this in regular conversation (or when you’re nervous), try being more aware of when you use these filler sounds.  You can do this by asking a trusted friend or family member to give you their honest thoughts on your speech patterns, or record yourself talking naturally to find out which ones you use most often.  Then, practice using silence instead.

Own what you say.  Speak with confidence.  From there, you’ll be able to weed out more of those pesky likes, ahs & ums!

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Happy Recording (& Spring Cleaning!)!
Rose Caiazzo, Professional Voice Over Talent
Based out of *fantastical* Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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2 Responses to “Like, ah & um …”

  1. Tim Bick May 12, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    I agree, but there is a valuable place for filler noises when trying to sound conversational – things that are not quite words but still not in the script.

    • Rose C May 12, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts, Tim! It’s possible certain filler noises are valuable when a script is recorded (& they can always be edited out). However, in this instance the post is referencing public speaking. These filler noises are described as being used mainly as a crutch in this instance. Have you ever heard someone use the word “like” after like every like word they like speak?

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