Word choice is important. The words we use reflect who we are, and when we let too many filler words slip into our speech, it gives the appearance of unreliability. Therefore, it’s best to try to remove “like” and “um” from your vocabulary as soon as possible. But those aren’t the only filler words to avoid. “Actually,” “ok,” “hopefully,” can have the same effect as “like” and “um.”

Key Takeaways:

  • We tend to have more fillers when speaking vs. typing a social media post or a quick message to a coworker.
  • The regularity in which words or word categories are used can speak volumes about a person.
  • All that’s required to stop using unreliable-sounding words is self-awareness.

“Communication becomes more casual every day. Ten years ago, we never would have felt comfortable including a smiley face in an email to our boss, but now in 2017, that seems less unprofessional.”