H7: Filler Words – Part 1

Video Review – Details you want to know

How is this different from “Lead-ins”?

With Lead-ins, we’re usually adding them before the start of a script, paragraph, or sentence.

With Filler Words, we’re subtly adding them in the middle of phrases, to make it sound like we’re just thinking of, and speaking, these words spontaneously (instead of reading them off a page).

What are some examples of Filler Words?

“Uh”, “You know”, “So”, “Um”, “Really”, etc.

I’ve always been told to avoid Vocalized Pauses like this when I’m speaking!

Sure! And when you’re giving a public speech, making a persuasive argument, or advocating for someone, you absolutely should avoid them!

BUT, when we’re asked to make something really sound like a real conversation…this is what most people actually do in real life. 

I mainly voice audiobooks, eLearning, and the like. This wouldn’t be appropriate there! (9:15)

Absolutely right! BUT, you can still add “phantom” filler beats; pretend you’re saying them mentally, and add slight pauses and variations in your delivery. (This overlaps with Habit 2: Cadence and Tempo.)

This can help us add some subtle seasoning and flavor to an otherwise terribly bland script.

In what kind of voiceover project is this technique especially powerful? (10:20)

When we’re playing part of a multi-person dialogue! It’s so difficult to make something sound like a live conversation when everyone’s recording separately. Adding filler words makes our part sound much more real.

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