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SO . . . THE OVER-USED, TWO-LETTER WORD : Proficience Group

Friday, September 21, 2018


January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Industry News

So - needle




Listening to speakers, it is very common to hear ‘pause fillers,’ ‘false starts, or ‘un-words’ like “so,” “er”, “um” and “you know.”

What are ‘pause fillers,’ ‘false starts,’ and ‘un-words’?

So, ‘pause fillers’ ‘false starts,’ and ‘un-words’ are words or sounds that usually occur at the end or beginning of a spoken sentence or phrase.

So, they are apparently meaningless words, phrases, or sounds that can be irritating to the listener and a distraction in conveying the true message of a conversation or speech.

So, why do these unnecessary words happen?

So, they happen because the speaker may be experiencing a misstep in the conversation or speech, or is uncomfortable with a slight pause in conversation. So, the result is throwing in filler words to take up dead space.

So, the problem with that is the filler words distract your listener – often to the point that they do not hear anything you say. So, the worst part is this unproductive sound causes the message to be lost.

So, seems recently more and more speakers begin their sentences with the word ‘so.’

So, get the point? Annoying right?

Most speakers use filler words to some degree from time-to-time, after all we are human and it happens. But it’s important to understand if/when it is happening and why.

Filler words can simply be a byproduct of not being fully prepared or of not being confident, or believe in the delivery of the topic.

Example: Listen to someone being interviewed on TV or radio. If their performance on answering questions is poor, they may care little about the issue, thus seem to be searching for something to say and using lots of filler words. But, if they are answering a question on a topic they are passionate about – suddenly the filler words are gone and instead they offer an animated, heartfelt response.

Some important reasons to eliminate fillers from your everyday vocabulary. When you use, ‘so,’ ‘er,’ ‘um,’ ‘uh’, or any other filler, it says one of two things about you to the listener.  Either, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and therefore have no authority.  Or, you’re making up something, and may come across as if you’re lying.

Two Ways to Reduce Using Filler Words:

  • Be aware that you are using them and identify if a pattern exists. Do you start sentences using filler words? Do you use filler words as a connector instead of using a silent pause?
  • Know speech patterns – recognize when/where you commonly use of filler words. Resist the urge to fill the time with a filler word, using a silent pause instead. Don’t let ‘so’ be the first word out of your mouth when responding to a question, or opening your presentation.

Is your speech peppered with ‘pause fillers,’ ‘false starts,’ and ‘un-words’?

Notice how and when others use filler words. Does it sound professional?

Learning to eliminate filler words will enhance the effectiveness and professionalism of your response/speech.

Scissors and Thread

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