Whether an individual, team, or organization,
increase your value by developing the voice of a leader.

Liz Trocchio Smith

Liz Trocchio Smith
Certified Executive Business Coach
and Trusted Advisor

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We All Say “Um,” “Like,” and “You Know” Too Much. Here’s How to Stop.

Like most people, you probably lean on filler words while speaking, such as “um,” “ah,” or “you know.” But these verbal crutches diminish your credibility and distract from your message. To drop them from your speech, replace them with pauses. Start by identifying the filler words you use too often, and then pair them with an action. For example, every time you catch yourself saying “like,” tap your leg. This word-action pairing will help you be more aware of how you speak. Next, replace the filler words with a silent pause. This is the hard part, and practice is key. As you notice a filler word escaping your lips, don’t say it — just stay quiet for a moment. If you still find yourself struggling, try recording yourself while you talk about your day. Practice using pauses instead of filler words as you recall the day’s events. Over time, you’ll build a habit of not using filler words at all.

Make it a great day!