Do Not Sabotage Your Message with Filler Words

George Torok Communication skills, Insights, Intended Message, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Say what you mean and nothing more. Don’t litter your intended message with self sabotage and obstructive noise.

Imagine if Abraham Lincoln had delivered the Gettysburg address while not paying attention to the words he spoke.

You’ll receive the most benefit from reading the follow revised version out loud. Notice the filler words and especially how they suck the energy out of this brilliant speech.

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So, four score and seven years ago our um fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation ah, conceived in like Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created sorta equal, you know.

Now we are engaged in a great ah civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, you know, conceived and so dedicated, can long endure, right. We are, ah met on a great battle-field of that war okay. We have come to dedicate a portion of that um field, as a final resting place for those who here you know gave their lives that nation might live. Umm, it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, right?

But so, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate um — we can not consecrate ah — we can not hallow like– this ground. The brave men, living and you know dead, who struggled here, have like consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or umm detract. So, the world will little note, nor long remember umm what we say here, but it can never forget what they ah did here. It is for us like the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work ahh which they who fought here have thus far so nobly sort of advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great like task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased ah devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve sorta that these dead shall not have died in vain right– that this nation, under umm God, shall have a new birth of like freedom — and that so government of the people, by the people, for the ahh people, shall not umm perish from the earth okay.

Absent Link
November 19, 2021

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Reread that and see if you can pick out the filler words that steal energy from this speech. Imagine if you used these words in your presentation. What might that do to poison your intended message?

Picking out the filler words is the first step to eliminate them. It starts with you becoming aware. Start listening to what you say when you speak.

 

Now, read this speech again, without the filler words. Notice the difference?

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Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

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Perhaps you created and prepared a brilliant presentation. Imagine if you littered it with filler words. That would be like sprinkling sand into your mother’s favorite homemade soup.

Your mother would never forgive you and neither would your audience.

 

How to Destroy a Great Speech: Litter it with Filler Words

don't litter your presentation with litter words

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