I was interviewed for an article in BBC News on eliminating filler words in business conversations and meetings.
Here is an excerpt:
“We are so comfortable with our own vocal tendencies that we often overlook them,” said Steven Cohen, assistant professor of communication at the University of Baltimore in the US …
Learn to diagnose your own “filler word hotspots” to better anticipate the changes you need to make to your speech, Cohen said. Often, people use fillers at the beginning or end of a sentence or while transitioning from one thought to the next, he explained. Being especially mindful of your speech during your trouble spots can make it easier to avoid the traps of using fillers.
If you’re giving a presentation, fillers can especially creep up in the introduction, conclusion and any complex parts of the presentation. Rather than memorise your entire presentation, pay special attention to those parts. Being confident in your words will help reduce the use of fillers, Cohen explained. “The more we practice and the more comfortable we are with the content,” he said.