by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com
When you've giving a presentation, your words can affect your ability to communicate your message to your audience. If you want to be a more effective presenter, avoid these three types of words:
Filler words are words such as "um," "ah," "like," "so," and "ok," which are used as verbal bridges to the next word. Rather than being effective bridges, however, they are roadblocks, distracting the audience and interrupting the flow of your message. These filler words also make you look and sound nervous. Instead of using them, just pause and take a breath instead. Then continue on with your next sentence or word.
Your goal is to speak confidently to the audience and convey your knowledge and expertise. If you use weak words like "sort of" and "hopefully," they lessen the impact of your message. If you're uncertain about what you're saying or only providing an estimate, say so directly, but don't let weak words undermine an otherwise certain statement.
Also beware of using weak words when networking. Nothing projects your lack of confidence more than an introduction such as "Hi, I'm Leslie and I sorta have my own business and I kinda help people organize their offices."
Buzzwords are words or phrases which at one time may have been interesting or unique, but which through overuse, have now become tired and meaningless. Examples include "leveraging our assets," "touching base," "pick your brain," "24/7" and others that may be specific to your industry. Be careful not to overuse buzzwords; they fill the time but they don't convey a lot of meaning.
For example, in the phrase, "I personally think," the word "personally" is unnecessary because "I" already conveys who is doing the thinking. Another example is the phrase, "at this moment in time" which can simply be replaced with "now." The extra words don't add anything; instead, they just muddy your presentation.
Your word choice is critical to the success of your presentation. By avoiding these three types of words, your meaning becomes more clear and focused – and easier for your audience to understand.