Cut the fill!

Cut the fill!

If you’re a runner, you’ve no doubt heard the term “junk miles”. This is when you run an excessive amount of kilometres each week but experience little (if any) physiological benefit. You go through the motions, running for running’s sake – as enjoyable as that may be!


But if you want to sharpen your form and run faster, you need to take a more deliberate approach. You need to put quality over quantity. Cut back on your mileage and give each run a purpose!


Filler words are like junk miles. They are empty words, statements and sounds we use to flesh out our communications without adding any real meaning to what we have to say.


Filler words and sounds – such as “um”, “ah”, “you know”, “well”, “like” and “I mean” – can be helpful in speech. We often use them unconsciously. They help fill uncomfortable silences and give us a moment to think about what we want to say next. They also let the person we’re talking to know we’re not finished speaking yet.


Filler words are much less desirable in written communications and formal presentations. Although we may not write “um” and “ah” in our blog posts, books and articles, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using filler words to lengthen our content without adding substance to it. Inefficient filler words weigh down our communications, minimising their impact.


Here are some common filler words and phrases:


  • Basically
  • Actually
  • Really
  • Just
  • In order to
  • Very
  • Highly
  • Needless to say
  • Literally
  • At the end of the day
  • Kind of/sort of


Which filler words and phrases do you use the most? We are all guilty of using them. And it’s OK to use them – sparingly. The beauty of the editing process is that we can cut the excessive filler words out!


I challenge you to review one of your blog posts, articles or e-books. Identify and delete as many filler words as you can. Read your piece of writing again and see how concise it is! Your content will be much more powerful.


Don’t let filler words detract from your message. Drive home your message more efficiently and with greater impact by cutting the fill!


If you need help writing or editing your next piece of material for your business, please feel free to email me at I’d love to help you. I also offer Strategic Chat Sessions if that book is burning away at the back of your mind but you need help getting it out into the world!

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