An expert speaker is going viral with her super-simple trick to removing “filler words” from your vocabulary.
The simple trick comes from a TikToker named Dellara (@legalbaddie). The popular designer is a lawyer, activist and multiple time national public speaking champion.
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Dellara says the advice, which she learned during a “boot camp” speech and debate, played a huge role in her championship winning skills. And, she adds, it’s not even that hard to learn.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” she says.
In her video, which now has over 6 million views, Dellara explains a “game” that helps you remove words like “uh”, “like” or “you know” from your everyday vocabulary.
To get started, find a friend and ask them to shout out a random topic. Then it’s your turn to talk about that topic for 60 seconds straight without using any filler words.
If you use any of these forbidden words, your friend is supposed to stop you. Then you have to start over from the beginning, repeating the process over and over again until you can go 60 seconds without any filling.
“It’s going to be really tough at first,” Dellara says in the clip. “But you’re going to improve quickly, and it’s going to be so rewarding.”
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Dellara says she thinks this practice isn’t just for professional speakers. It can also make you feel more confident and comfortable sharing your thoughts in general.
“People will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say,” she adds.
Studies have shown that filler words tend to impact a speaker’s credibility. Words like “uh” and “like” are sometimes a sign of nervousness, and even if they aren’t, people often perceive them as such.
That said, many have also argued about the virtues of filler words. In an article for the Harvard Business Review, public speaking expert Allison Shapira wrote that while these words can signal nervousness, they can also make a person more diplomatic or help them embark on a dispute in progress.
TikTokers, in general, really appreciated tipping. Many strongly agreed with Dellara’s advice to replace filler words with pauses.
“I was just taught to pause instead of using a filler word,” one user wrote. “I thought it would be awkward, but it really isn’t.”
“I struggle with it so much!!! I needed it,” added another.
“Oof I’m sweating just thinking how hard it would be!” another wrote. “Great advice.”
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