Snooze your Filler Monster

Published on 9 May 2023

This is uhh, basically, an article about filler sounds…um…words and phrases.

You know, the kind of things that just like….pop up……in your presentations.

You know what I mean? The sort of thing, those….umm…sounds and err….words that disrupt and disturb your…ahh…flow….as a presenter.

They can grow into phrases….I mean…like literally…. they can uhh… away……umm…at your confidence as a speaker and also……

ummm…….make it uhh… harder for someone to really……… listen to you.

The occasional bit of filler you can live with. And so can your audience but…….

When they essentially….pop up in every sentence….they become a distraction, your confidence slips away, and it feels like the filler monster…basically…has you…..

Image credit: John Scarrott

Here’s how to keep your filler monster at bay:

  • Prepare what you’re going to say: writing down words gives you something to rehearse from.
  • Rehearse your words: say what you want to say out loud. Record yourself.
  • Listen back: note where your fillers are creeping in. Swap them for a pause. Make a mark on your script.
  • Rehearse a second time: pausing where you made a mark and record again.
  • Listen back: and notice what has happened to your fillers. They should be less frequent.
  • Added Bonus: your pace will be that little bit slower, and you’ll feel more in control.

Keep practising: and over time this will become a part of your style without the need to record.

You’ll snooze your filler monster. And do the exact opposite to your audience.

“More killer. Less filler. Less pace. More space.”


John Scarrott
John Scarrott

Trainer and Coach, John Scarrott Training and Coaching

John Scarrott is a Trainer and Coach working with association professionals on their approach to speaking, chairing meetings, presentations, communication and influence. John is a former Membership Director, with over 25-years’ experience of making presentations. He is the retained trainer in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills for the AAE and also for the Institute of Data & Marketing. John is a professionally qualified coach with a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential from the International Coach Federation. He has spoken in the UK and internationally working with association professionals across Europe and in India and Australia.