Improve your G.B.C. fluency score NOW with fillers

Smooooth as silk

Fillers are a great way to buy time when you speak, to sound natural and to hold the floor. What's more, they are essential to improving your fluency and delivery score on the G.B.C. test.

Used well, fillers can help you speak fluently and naturally. Used too often and in the wrong way, fillers make your speaking sound very bad and are the sign of a poor speaker.

There are two types of fillers: informative fillers (good) and conversational padding (bad).

Bad fillers

Conversational padding is the easiest to use. These are fillers used when speaking like:

  • ummm...
  • ahhhh...
  • errrr...
  • hmmm...
  • oh...

For more advanced speakers this group also includes things like: "you know", "like", "basically", "well" and so on.

These are called "non-word sounds" on the G.B.C. test. These sounds do nothing more than fill space. You will lose points if you use these on the G.B.C. test.

Better speakers rarely use these fillers. Bad speakers use this group too much.

Using this type of filler too much shows you don't know what to say or how to say it. These fillers can really make your English sound terrible.

Good fillers

Informative fillers add meaning to what you are saying and show some aspect of your thinking or feelings on the subject. They are much harder to use. You have to choose the right filler for the right time. These fillers make the difference between good English and excellent English. They are sometimes used in written English, like emails.

Some examples might be:

  • The main thing is...
  • In my opinion...
  • As far as I know...
  • If I had to say...
  • This is just a suggestion but...

These fillers add to what you are saying. They make your English sound more intelligent, persuasive and natural.

The two most important strategies to using fillers are balance and variety. Try to substitute out the conversational padding (which can make you sound stupid) for some good informative fillers (which add detail).

The conversational fillers are O.K. to use with your friends, but you should never use them in an interview, in a speaking test or with a client.

Also, listen to yourself. Try not to use the same fillers all the time. Mix them up. It is more interesting to listen to and creates a better impression of confidence and capability.