Noise Words

January 5, 2010

Noise words are negative words and filler phrases which add nothing to the content of your presentations and which can become very wearing for your listeners.  They are the ‘errs’ and ‘ums’, the ‘y’knows’, the ‘basically’, ‘actually’ or ‘obviously’.

Phrases like ‘I think…’ also sap your confidence and lessen the impact of what you are saying.

Instead of ‘I think, we can achieve target’ say, ‘Not only can we achieve target, we aim to exceed our target’.  It is far more impressive, far more authoritarian, and far more believable. 

Try to omit filler words like, ‘obviously’ ‘actually’ ‘basically’ and do not repeat stock phrases.  Some people tend to finish a sentence with ‘okay’, ‘right’ or ‘yes’ when they are looking for agreement and understanding from the audience.  Others have a habit of adding, ‘you know’ to the beginning or end of everything.  Most people do not even realise when they are saying these words.

If you recognise this as a problem, ask a colleague to sit at the back of the room and put their hand up every time you say the word.  You will soon stop!

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