One of many things that we work on together at our River Speakers Toastmasters meetings is noticing our choice of words — both good choices (rich, image-evoking words) and “filler” words.
“Filler” words are words or sounds we’ve gotten in the habit of using to fill space while we’re trying to think of what to say next. We don’t need them. We learn that it’s good to have the “effective pause” and that by being more confident, and by being more aware of our speech (which we gain through peer evaluation time), we communicate better and with more authority.
Recently, one of our members, past board member Leah Parsons, presented our club with this wonderful “Ah-Grammarian Monster”. (The Ah-Grammarian is the meeting evaluator who helps us by noting the use of both rich words and filler words.)