By Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson
Speakers can open their presentation using one of a host of methods. So why do most non-professional speakers begin their speech with those attention-grabbing words, “Ah, I am so-in-so, ah . . . um”? Beginning your speech with filler words such as “ah” or “um” immediately tells your audience that you are an untrained speaker. In a flash, you’ve lost credibility as a speaker, or even worse, as an expert in your field, and your audience has taken a mental exit. You might as well be talking to an empty room.
Why do speakers self-sabotage their speeches by beginning this way? It’s simple. It’s because they haven’t clearly defined or prepared their opening. Consequently, nervously, they search for what to say next and fill in this awkward gap with a filler word, “ah” or “um.”