Filler words like “um” may seem natural in everyday speech, but they do not belong in formal presentations or speeches. Powerful public speakers work hard to eliminate words such as “um,” “uh,” “well,” “so,” “you know,” “er,” and “like” from their vocabulary so that their listeners can focus solely on their message. 


Filler words represent verbal static that has to be filtered out by your audience!

Repeated and excessive use of filler words weakens your credibility!


  • Filler Sounds — e.g. um, uh, ah, mm
  • Filler Words – e.g. basically, actually, literally
  • Filler Phrases – e.g. “I think that”, “you know”, “what I’m trying to say is”


5 Steps to Reducing Filler Words in Your Vocabulary:

Transitional Phrases:

Words and Phrases to Erase From Your Vocabulary:

1. Honestly

2. Literally

3. Stuff

4. Like

5. Um

6. Just

7. Should

8. Hate

9. Retarded

10. Don’t forget

11. Can’t

12. Crazy

13. Never

14. Maybe


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