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2011-07-15 18:54:23

The Killer Presentation (Part 1)

Public speaking ranks at the highest levels of all things feared by humans, period. Whether presenting on stage to a thousand people, at the office to your team or management, or offering your services to a prospective client, certain success denominators if mastered can make a big difference in your results.

This subject is deep and far reaching. My aim from this article series is to impart some of the more fundamentally important tips that you as a real estate professional can start to apply right away and that can make a significant difference in your performance.

One BIG ‘Don’t’ that, in my personal opinion, warrants we open the series with are ‘Non Words,’ also known as ‘Fillers.’ Non Words fall into what is technically described as Speech Disfluencies.

From Wikipedia: “Speech disfluencies are any of various breaks, irregularities, or non-lexical vocables that occur within the flow of otherwise fluent speech. These include false starts, i.e. words and sentences that are cut off mid-utterance, phrases that are restarted or repeated and repeated syllables, fillers i.e. grunts or non-lexical utterances such as "uh", "erm" and "well", and repaired utterances, i.e. instances of speakers correcting their own slips of the tongue or mispronunciations (before anyone else gets a chance to).”

Did you know that a whopping 20 percent of the words many people use in a sentence are Non Words and Fillers? That is shocking.

You have great tools at your disposal. For example, you click a button or two in your Point2 Agent system and out comes a gorgeous listing presentation and you rush out the door for your new client meeting. You now look phenomenal on paper. But how much would some more power and confidence in your speech and personal presentation skills go to get you the deal? How about your impact in a video recording for posting on YouTube or your blog? Wouldn’t you want to come across as more professional and assertive?

Many of us may have picked up the ‘Filler’ habit as kids at school, or at the office from some rising hot shot, thinking that must be one of the reflections of success. You’ve surely heard kids – and adult professionals - spray around words and Non Words like ‘um’ ‘uh’ ‘like’ ‘oh my God’ ‘sooooo’ or ‘you know’, like there was no tomorrow.

How about those who can tag several fillers to each other, literally saying an entire short sentence without communicating anything. Try this for size: ‘let’s seeeeee, uuuuuh, now, wait a minute, ehhhh, yes, it’s like …

The bottom line is that if someone pitched their services to you and packed one or two eh’s and um’s in between every few real words, they have an obstacle they just don’t know about. As a buyer, your perception is affected. With that, while not the only parameter in your consideration, your decision. 

Fillers are distracting. They diminish your impact and show hesitancy and uncertainty. They annoy listeners and directly affect their perception of you and their decision about your services or products.

Remember this. Fillers are Killers. They hit your credibility and potential right in the heart no matter your domain and level of expertise, or your message. As delivery and presentation makes up around 90 percent of a presenter’s impact on an audience, Non Words simply do not belong.

As an exercise, try to listen to your own voice in your next conversation. How many unnecessary words can you count?

For those who may think fillers give them the right to the next speaking spot (uuuuuhhh don’t interrupt me I’m not done speaking yet), think again. Especially on the phone, your listener might also think you keep getting distracted by other things like people, text messages or email. Tells them they are not the most important thing on your mind right now. Not very professional.

One of the keys to getting rid of Fillers is focus. Focus on your audience and your message. Use pauses between sentences to catch your next thought. The silence, which may seem to last a lifetime when you’re on stage, or when trying to rush an idea past someone, seems only that long to you. To your audience, the pause emphasizes the importance of the message. It gives them time to assimilate the point and take better notes, and you come across as more confident, more assertive and more knowledgeable.


Roger Noujeim, Director, Point2 Communications is an advertising, PR and communications veteran with more than 20 years of experience. Roger can be reached at, or at 888-955-7900.

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