The one thing that makes you sound less smart


We all want to sound smart. But there’s one little habit that can undo everything, no matter how knowledgeable or professional we are. Filler words like “um”, “ahh”, and “err” can make you appear unintelligent and uncertain.

You might be doing it without even realizing, or  they may just be a comfortable habit you slip back into when you’re nervous – but it’s definitely one worth breaking.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can stop doing this and regain credibility when you speak, all the while becoming a confident speaker in the process.

Record yourself to hear yourself using filler words

Hearing yourself speak will let you to see how awkward and unprofessional filler words sound.This can also help you get in the mindset to notice when you use a filler word and eventually stop doing it.

Make eye contact

Making eye contact with whomever you’re talking to will help you communicate more confidently and clearly by having something to focus on instead of your nerves and thinking about what to say.This will also help you act more confidently and sound smarter.

Establish a rapport

Establishing a rapport with someone is a great way to make a connection and be able to carry a coherent and engaging conversation with them

This will help you relax and become more comfortable in that situation as, similar to the tip above, your mind will not focus on your nerves or what to say.

Pre-planned transitional fillers

Saying “um” and “ah” tells your audience that you need time to think about what you’re going to say next or are uncertain about it.

When giving a speech, or even during a job interview, you should pre-plan your transition fillers like “moving on”, “let’s talk about this…”, or “another interesting point is…”.This will at least give the impression that you have thought about what you want to say more carefully.

Pause before you speak

Pausing before you speak will give you a moment to think about what you want to say– and therefore say something more considered and thoughtful.


Being relaxed before you enter a situation where you will be speaking, like a job interview or presentation, will helpyouget comfortable withwhat you’re going to say before you speak — and say it confidently.

Slow down

In stressful situations, yourbrain tends to race, leaving you little time to think about what you’re going to say or do.

Slowing down will help curb this habit and let you think more clearly — and do a better job of impressing the person or people you’re speaking to.

Practice, practice, practice

Practicing what you’re going to say will help you speak more confidently, know what you’re going to say, and have an idea of the kind of questions you might face after you’ve finished speaking.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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