If you find yourself regularly using the words ‘like’ and ‘innit’, you may subconsciously be tainting others’ view of you.
A new study has revealed that people who use these ‘filler words’ come across as less intelligent, less attractive and less popular.
In the study, researchers from Mortar Research and Gweek asked 2,000 participants to listen to two audio clips of the same speaker, talking about Brexit .
In one clip, the speaker spoke with no interruptions, but their speech was factually incorrect.
In the other, they spoke with ‘filler words’, but their speech was factually correct.
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The results revealed that 57 per cent of listeners thought the person given the factually incorrect speech was well educated, but just 36 per cent thought the factually correct speech was delivered by someone who was well educated.
Beyond education, listeners also thought the person giving the factually incorrect speech had better people skills, was more intelligent, and more attractive.
The most annoying filler words, were found to be ‘innit’, ‘like’ and ‘basically’, closely followed by ‘err’, ‘you know’ and ‘uh’.
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James Bryce, inventor of the Speech Intelligence Analytics that powers the gweek app, said: “What was most interesting about this study was the lack of awareness respondents had about their speech patterns.
“As a nation we often put a lot of emphasis on how we look to control the way people perceive us, but how we communicate has just as much of an influence on this.
“By understanding the different components of speech – like filler words, pauses and stretched words – people can better learn how to master these and speak with real impact.”