All public speakers struggle at one time or another with “fillers.” The “ums” and “ahs” pop up unexpectedly in our tales, stories, and demonstrations.
The most common advice speakers in training receive are to pause – let the words come to you mentally without reaching for fillers. But what if the cure was the opposite?
In “Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker“, author David Nihill offers a suggestion for how to erase the “ah,” “eh,” and “buts” in your next speech. His suggestion: speak up.
“By speaking as little as 20 percent louder than normal, you will reduce the number of filler words you tend to use.” According to Nihill, it is harder to say the “ehs” and “ahs” at a pumped up volume.
While it may feel strange at first, but the higher-than-normal voice will seem normal to your audience. It may even enhance your audience’s ability to hear and understand you.
Next time you take center stage at work or in a Toastmaster’s meeting, pump up the volume and see how many filler words pop into your presentation.
Let us know if it works for you!