Drop the “I Mean” When Answering Questions.

Many people will commence a response with the two words, “I mean.” 

Why do they fall back on these filler words? Most people fall into this habit when they feel anxious and uncomfortable. However, the most common reason is that the person is buying themselves time to organize their thoughts.

Why is it bad to do so? When we start an answer with “I mean,” we appear less confident and ill-prepared. Also, it can be very distracting for listeners when a speaker continues to repeat certain filler words.

How do we drop this habit? When the other speaker finishes their question, fight the urge to speak—practice pausing for a few seconds while you organize your thoughts. Then, take a breath and respond directly to the question. Take your time, and your response will improve.