Filler Words and Expressions to Pay Attention to!

Maintaining awareness of filler words and expressions you use in your vocabulary is essential to speaking with confidence and clarity! One of the key reasons why people use filler words or phrases is out of fear of sounding controlling, condescending, or entitled. However, there are many ways of speaking that will allow you to be assertive and clear while still maintaining respectability. Keep reading about expressions to be cautious of and you’ll nail professional communication in no time!

  • “I’m not sure,… I’m not positive,… I’m not certain that…, but…”: We hope that we have reinforced the idea enough times for you to know that uncertainty and curiosity are welcome in the workplace. However, when people use these phrases, it is often a result of having actual knowledge, but fear of expressing ideas or opinions. For that reason, prepare for all meetings that you participate in and come with somewhat of a “rehearsed” game plan so that you will not find yourself stuttering or finding filler words due to nerves.
  • “Let me know…”: While this phrase may seem useful in that it offers the other person in conversation some leeway to decide about a meet time, a final decision, etc,  the end result of using this phrase negates your ability to be assertive. For example, if you are coordinating a meet time, try ending the message by offering your availability right away. Constructing a sentence along the lines of… “I’m free on Monday’s and Wednesday’s after 10 am, let me know if that works for you,” puts those words to use much more effectively.
  • “OMG, LOL, BTW, GTG”: It’s easy enough to feel intertwined between your online life and your in-person conversations. However, no matter if you are communicating through email, text, in person, facetime, or on the phone, avoid these phrases at all times when you are in a professional setting!
  • “I just wanted to… I wanted to… I’m sending this to let you know that…”: Using expressions as introductions in your memos may often come across as a bundle of extra words that will end up being overlooked. Make sure you dive right into the point you are trying to convey so as to maintain engagement from your reader or audience.
  • “I think…”: Just as we emphasized before, if you know information, don’t be afraid to show it! Using words like think or believe downplay your knowledge. We encourage you to state facts and events, instead of “believing or thinking” that they may have occurred.
  • “I’ll try”: It is not the desire to try new things that we encourage you to steer clear of. In fact, you should be trying something new as much as possible to accelerate your professional development! That being said, when you are placed in situations where you know it may be nearly impossible to complete a project or finish an assignment by the deadline you are provided, you will find yourself much better off by being honest, as opposed to offering to “try” to get it done.

By communicating with clarity and “no BS,” you will be able to complete projects, meetings, and responsibilities much more quickly and efficiently. So, don’t wait around, start implementing your new knowledge today!

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