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June 30, 2015

Filler Words: Eliminate For Clearer Communication

When words get in the way of clear communicationQuite literally, perhaps words just got in the way of really clear communication. If you really want to get people to quite literally do really amazing things, it’s better to be really, very clear about the stuff that you talk about!  

The above opening stuffs all of the words that author Shanna Mallon of the Entrepreneur Magazine suggests not to use or avoid to the greatest extent to pack more punch in your communication. I would agree with her. To add to this list, it’s a good idea to avoid and cut out words like but, however, therefore, so, and, and a few other conjunctions. Especially when sentences are more than 12 to 15 words, keeping this in mind will help to avoid run-on sentences. I talk more about this in this post (click here).  


Let's look at how eliminating filler words creates clear communication. Below, I am pasting the opening from this post, then underneath it, rewriting it removing filler words. Do you notice the difference?


Original Passage:
Quite literally, perhaps words just got in the way of really clear communication. If you really want to get people to quite literally do really amazing things, it’s better to be really, very clear about the stuff that you talk about! 

Updated Passage:
The use of filler words can get in the way of clear communication. If we want to convince our employees to achieve more and be exemplary leaders, motivational communication is key. 

What do you think between the first and second passage? What differences do you find?

One additional change I wanted to note is in regards to the use of the word "people" in the first passage. I changed the word "people" to "employees." Avoid using the words "people," "guys," and related general, casual English words. In place, use the terminology from your profession or company. This could be referring to a group or a person by their job titles or roles, for example.  



 

Jennifer Kumar helps professionals on global teams working with Americans or expats, international students and skilled immigrants in the US communicate in a culturally effective way with US Americans at work. Contact her today to create your personalized coaching agenda.

Related Posts: 
Active English Demonstrates being a Team Player    
Accent, Language, Breathing and other Language Skills Promoting Clear Speech  
"So" another filler word to avoid 

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Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.