Avoid Filler Language in Presentations

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

Presenters often use the phrase “Does that make sense?” to gauge audience understanding. But this can convey a speaker’s uncertainty and signals that the audience might not comprehend or appreciate the content.

To be an effective speaker, eliminate useless words and phrases like this one.

Since you often include them unconsciously, record your next speech (try the voice record function on your smart phone).

Play it back and listen for where you added fillers.

Repeat this process several times and soon enough you’ll start correcting yourself.

And if you want to check whether your material is getting through, try the more concrete “Do you have any questions?” instead.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Never Ask ‘Does That Make Sense?'” by Jerry Weissman.

To read that article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out the new book Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, based on HBR’s Management Tip of the Day by clicking here.


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