Tuesday Tips: 3 Ways to Kick Your Crutch Words to the Curb
What is your crutch word? You know what we’re talking about. That word you always use. That word that helps fill the space while your mind plays catch up. That word that you don’t even realize you say anymore.
Yep. We’re talking about these words: like, um, actually, literally - you know the ones.
Ring any bells? The Brand Girls team knows that putting your best foot forward is crucial for your personal brand, so we’re here to help you kick your crutch words to the curb.
Identify them: Do you know what your crutch words are? You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is!
Ask others who know you well what words you overuse. You can also read back over your papers and social media posts - chances are you’re using the same words there too.
Pro tip: Set up your iPhone and take a video of yourself speaking + play it back. Not only will this help you realize what words you may rely on too much, but you’ll also get a glimpse at your body language.
Start thinking about WHY you use these words: Now let’s get to the root of the problem. Why do you keep leaning on these same phrases over and over? A lot of times, we revert to crutch words because we're not prepared.
How many times have you said “um” during a presentation because you forgot what came next? How often do you say “like” when you’re trying to fill more time, but have nothing else to say? The more you prepare, the less you'll rely on crutch words!
Try a new technique: Whether it’s a business presentation or a speech in class, many of us tend to use filler words to fill the silence. *face-palm*
Taking a pause is one of the most powerful things you can do when you’re speaking. It gives your listeners time to reflect on your insight and think through it. Another way to do that? Ask them a question.
These two techniques allow you to give yourself a break instead of using one of your default words.
You’ve likely been using these words for a long time, which is why they’ve become second nature to you. Remember, it takes time and practice to break our bad habits. But if you start to address them now, you can only improve.
Written By: Jasmine Williams
Brand Girls Client + BG Blog Intern