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Elocution Execution

Now Wishing You’d Taken That Speech Class in Middle School…

For those of you with a sweet tooth, you will relate. To treat a cavity, a dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fills” the void created. Fillings are used to repair cracked or broken teeth and those worn down from nail-biting or grinding. First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area to be filled, followed by a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser will be used to remove the decayed area.

We can all agree this is not a pleasant act.

“Filler Words” have the same effect on conversations — as well as my ears. These words; or more precisely: utterings, are such a part of the common vernacular I am going to resist the urge to list any of them.


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Often, these ticks of speech serve as crutches when we find ourselves unnerved. Whether distracted or at a loss for what comes next, it is easy to lean on filler words. Friends, this cane is infested and rotting with termites, so avoid it. Failure to do will have your clients avoiding you.

Communication is not merely verbal. Far from it. Body language, intonation, inflection and eye contact all convey thoughts effectively. However, in a business world now heavily reliant on video conferencing and calls, it is imperative you up your podium presence as verbal communication is now paramount.

Linguists seem to posit the mere use of these so called “filler words” evidence a more conscious awareness of whom we are talking to and what we are saying.

In other instances, such grunts can convey sentimentality. After all, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news so we may insert these fillers preceding, “I don’t” or “honey, there’s a lovely symmetrical iron mark on your favorite Egyptian pima cotton dress shirt.”

A concern may also arise when these hesitations may indicate a straying from verbal veracity. It is never a good thing to convey, even sublimely, insincerity to a prospect or client.


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Lack of eloquence does not necessarily mean exclusion from Mensa membership. Some speakers are just wired differently. However, there is such a thing as muscle memory. It requires approximately one hundred muscles in the face, chest and throat in a synchronization of movement when we speak. Not to mention the cranial nerve endings and neural synapses sending messages to and from. Practicing a speech, sales pitch, or proposal, can only polish the execution of the ultimate delivery. Find a chum to chat with and let that inner Lord Byron flow.

If that does not work, ask aforementioned friend to whack your knuckles with a heavy wooden ruler ala Catholic School every time you deviate from diction.

Perfect parlance is not an exact science. Think of it as the Big Guy’s sense of humor. Some idiots are born with a stage presence (see Hollywood) while highly skilled professionals lack the linguistic luminosity their office may deem necessary (see Oval Office during past 25 years). One thing is certain — whatever the actual psychological causes of “fillers” — they are to be avoided like a post Halloween basket binger.


Published By Luigi Rosabianca of Shield Advisory Group

Originally published at


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