Full disclosure...at one time...I could not go more than a minute without a handful of "ah", "umm"...or any of the other filler words that people seem to always use to fill time between words while they are speaking. After LOTS of practice...it is not unusual for me to go an entire day such as in a workshop or conference with uttering a single such filler word.
So my quick question to others...do these types of filler words distract you at all?
For me...if I had to choose between:
A. Watching a presenter read from his or her PowerPoint slides
B. Listen to a presenter that uses a large number of filler words
I will take A every time. Note if there was letter C which was anything like "I'm outta there!" I would have gone there but I only listed A and B.
Anyone else have any thoughts/opinions?
(Note...upcoming speakers at the CI...might be feedback worth considering for those committed to putting on their best, most polished presentation.)
One could say a lot of words in one minute. So one filler word per minute I probably wouldn't notice. But more often than that starts becoming noticeable and soon distracting to the point of needing that option C (I'm outta here).
For me, it would depend on what the other words were but almost certainly B as I really can't take A. I can read their slides faster to myself than they can read it aloud and typically would have before sitting down. If they are reading, I will soon be at C or D - sitting there physically but mentally moved on (and usually on a device).
Tough choice! Like Scott, I really don't like "A" so if these are the only options, probably "B" but there better be some good words in between the fillers! I usually print out and read the slides myself in advance, so during the session I am hoping for scenarios, examples, other practical information to supplement bullet points.
I certainly notice it when filler words are used frequently, but it doesn't really bother me. I am bothered more by misspellings on power points as they should have been reviewed several times. I especially cringe when I see HIPAA spelled as HIPPA.
So, I guess my choice is B. I would rather hear some "umms" & "ahhs" & "you knows" than have the slides read to me.
Ahhh, filler words. I hear filler words but I tune them out to the extent that I can. Hearing them in person accompanied by gestures doesn't make it as distracting as hearing them on a webinar where the visuals may not be available.
In undergrad, I had a professor that used filler words. He used "in terms that you have". He used it multiple times in a sentence. For example, he would take a sentence such as, "In 2017, HCCA will host the Compliance Institute at the National Harbor" and say the following: In 2017, in the terms that you have, HCCA in the terms that you have will host the Compliance Institute in the terms that you have at the National Harbor. After that class, I haven't experienced a presenter or professor that has used a series of filler words.
I'm right there with you. A few....no problem. But at a recent CI...I was sitting next to someone and we counted over a dozen, repeatedly EACH MINUTE...that was much too distracting. We exited...stage left and thank goodness were able to find a good back up session.
Here's the kicker...most people who use filler words have no clue that they are using them AND are even more surprised when they hear a recording and count how many times.
Personally I find the use of filler words a function of a person's level of preparation. I know I am speaking in generalities...but when I see someone who is winging a presentation...either at the CI or otherwise and perhaps someone else put the slides together...or perhaps they figured...I will study the slides on the plane and do a little prep in the green room...and I'll be fine. Well...often...fine doesn't happen.
Take someone who has prepped...legitimately...and you can tell usually within the first 1 - 2 minutes.