July 13, 2020

Never Edit Filler Words Again!

#003 - Do you want to spend less time editing and have a cleaner podcast? I'll show you how to do just that on today's episode of Podcast Better.

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NOTE: This transcript was automatically created with the help of AI. There may still be a few errors or inaccuracies.

If I told you that I had a solution that will eliminate your need to edit filler words out of your podcasts, would you be interested?

Sounds like a pipe dream, right? Well, that's exactly what I'm here to offer you today. So let's get into it.

Podcast Better is for you the podcaster, or soon to be podcaster, who has a business, a cause, or a hobby that you're passionate about. Each week, we'll take a closer look at the mental, physical, and technical skills necessary to produce a quality show that your fans will want to listen to. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me, so that we can podcast better together.

Welcome, welcome, welcome fellow podcaster. I am excited to talk with you today.

But before we dive into things I want to share a problem with you. This is a problem that 90% of first time podcasters have.

You are not a professional speaker.

You haven't been trained, you don't have the experience, you're just not prepared. But that doesn't mean you should give up.

Today I decided to go way back in the archives. I'm about to play a clip for you. That is a little bit over six years old at the time of this recording.

This clip is from my very first podcast appearance. This wasn't even my podcast. I was a guest on someone else's show. So I'm just gonna play it for you now and then we'll talk about it a little bit.

"Well yeah, I actually didn't get into it until umm about halfway through Giants. Umm. Yeah. At the time I was just looking for, you know, a new game to play. And, you know, truth be told, colorful and shiny things attract me. And, you know, Skylanders has that, you know. They're bright and shiny toys and, you know, if you can throw that in with video game. I'll take it. Umm. And yeah, so I at that time I was just, you know..."

Wow, that was rough.

But it was raw, unedited, and probably comparable to a lot of you. Within that short 33 second clip, I counted six different instances of "you know", three different "umms" and three "so yeah".

It's not pretty, but when you're starting out it doesn't have to be. The most important thing is to show that you are improving.

People will put up with a lot with a new podcaster, but as long as you show improvement along the way. This could be improving your content, improving the quality of your speech, improving the quality of your sound, whatever the case may be. As long as you were improving, they'll put up with the little flubs and flaws and little things that you're doing wrong or not doing as good as you could.

Podcast listeners have been trained to some extent that they know you are not coming from a multi-million dollar corporation with on-air talent that has been doing this for decades.

You are the average Joe, a mom, a dad, brother, sister, daughter, son, just sitting at home on your computer in your office. Maybe not even in an office maybe in your living room on your kitchen table, wherever you have room to do this. In a closet a lot of times. I've seen plenty of people do that.

This may just be a hobby for you, but you have content that people want to listen to. So I've said it before and I'll say it again. As long as you are willing to grow and show improvement, people will put up with a lot of, dare I say un-professionalism in the beginning. But get better.

And that's what I'm going to teach you to do today. So, we are talking about those filler words. My pet phrase, and as you probably caught in that 33 second clip was, "you know".

I said it so many times and I didn't even realize I was saying it during the show, during the original recording. It was ridiculous how many times I said it. It wasn't even just that clip it was throughout the entire show, but it just. Wow.

When I went back and listened to that recording. I knew I needed to change something because I was going to be a guest on that podcast, many, many more times.

And from that point, from that first appearance I realized I enjoyed podcasting, and so I knew it was something I wanted to do more of, and I needed to improve. If I was going to keep on doing that I couldn't keep doing it the way I was doing it.

And so I did my research, I looked around and there are people who talk about this type of thing. The best advice I got well first record yourself record an episode, whether this is a test episode, or if this is an actual episode that you're going to air record yourself and be sure to listen to the unedited recording.

Be sure to listen to the unedited recording.

This is so important for your growth, even if you aren't the one actually doing the editing, you should be listening to the unedited recording, because this is how you are going to grow this is how you are going to figure out what you need to fix.

So you don't have to sit down and actually keep a tally of how many times you say all these words and phrases: you know, umm, uhh, yeah, so yeah. All these different words and phrases that don't actually mean anything you're just using them to fill the silence.

But pick one word or phrase that really stands out to you, because that's going to be the important thing. If it stands out to you, then you're probably saying it too much you're overusing it too much.

A few umms and ahhs are fine. They're part of natural speech patterns.

This is something, if you start analyzing other public speakers, unless it's a speech that they've rehearsed and given time and time again, chances are, even the most professional speakers are going to throw a few umms and ahhs in there.

You see us all the time on like live TV. If you're a sports fan, you can listen to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. You will hear them say it. Bob Costas when he's doing his reporting on the news, or any news anchor for that matter. You will hear them say, um and ah and fill those gaps.

And that's a little bit different because they are on live television and they are taught that, you know, dead air is about the worst thing you can have when you're going live, but what you have, as a podcaster is a huge advantage.

You're not going live.

Well some of you out there, myself included for some of my shows do either do a live broadcast, or you might do a behind the scenes shoot for your supporters, or patrons. That's fine.

That's gonna be raw, unedited. That's a whole different ballgame. But the final product that you put out on your RSS feed, your final published show that you're promoting as your podcast, that product is edited.

It's not live, you're gonna have a chance to clean that up. And if any of you have tried to clean up an episode where you have said, um, and you know and yeah, hundreds of times, and it's an hour long episode, that's gonna take you so long to edit.

It's a minimum of an hour because you have to listen to the entire thing. When you're stopping every five seconds to take out an umm or an ahh, it's going to be two to three to four hours. And that's just not worth it.

So here's what I want you to do. This is exactly the process that I used to clean this up. This is exactly what I do now. This is exactly what I've done for this podcast.

It's what I do with all my guests, when I have them on. They're not going to get it perfect, but little things, every little bit helps. That's what it comes down to.

So, pick your most overused word or phrase that you hear in your unedited recording. Then, during your next recording, slow down your speech a little bit.

Now, I don't mean take it at a snail's pace, talking...one...word...at...a...time. But, slow down your speech, be very thoughtful, intentional about the words you are saying, and whenever you feel that a phrase, for me it was "you know", so whenever you feel "you know" coming up, just pause. Be silent, say nothing.

This goes true if you need to think out exactly what you want to say. If you've been asked a question, if you are a guest or if you're not sure what your next question should be (if you're the interviewer), leave a pause, leave a silence.

Don't just ramble on to fill the dead air. This isn't a live broadcast. Leave the silence.

This is the critical point. This is what you need to train yourself to do because we have the means of removing silence very, very easily.

In a matter of seconds, maybe a minute or two, but in most cases, seconds, you can remove every single silence from your recording, but there is no magical feature out there that I know about where you can say hey, go remove all the times I've said "umm". Go remove all the times I've said "you know". It doesn't work that way.

But there is a way to remove silence.

So the more you can train yourself to stop and just leave a silence, where you would have said, "you know", where you would have said "umm", where you need a second to think, where you would have started rambling and just coming up with words to fill the space and hopefully you can use that time to think.

No, no, just stop, don't say anything. Leave that silence.

If I don't have a whole other podcast episode about this, I will at least have a video up for you. I will undoubtedly have a video up for you in The Podcasters Guild.

But leave that silence, and I will show you how to remove it.

If you're using Audacity, I know a lot of people use Audacity. Under the Effects, there is a thing called Truncate Silence. There's like three settings you can play around with and you will have to play around with these settings a little bit.

They're gonna be slightly different for everybody: for your style, the speed at which you talk, and the volume at which you talk and that type of thing. You'll have to figure out what these settings are for yourself.

But once you have those settings refined, every time you just go in truncate silence and click OK. It'll process it.

For me, for these like 15 to 20 minute episodes, it is done in 30 seconds or less. It removes every silence. And believe me, I leave a lot of silence in these episodes.

I've been a little bit surprised, but sometimes I just need to collect my thoughts and figure out what I'm going to say next.

The last episode, Episode Two, that I recorded, I know came out at 25 minutes. I removed all the silence, and it came down to 17 minutes. So that's the other thing that removing these silences does.

Not only does it help you remove the filler words, not only does it remove any awkward silences in between questions or phrases or whatever the case may be, but it also shortens your episodes. It makes them easier to listen to. It makes the flow of your speech, come together nicely.

And for those of you who have limits on how much you can upload, it makes your file sizes smaller. If you're on Buzzsprout where they give you a limit on how much time you can upload can make your episodes shorter.

They're more compact, they just have the information in there and you're not paying for uploading silence. And it's nicer for your listeners, because the episodes are shorter, they're more concise, they're not sitting there listening to what in my case would have been eight minutes of silence.

That would have been ridiculous. But that doesn't happen, because I removed the silence.

It's super simple, super easy to do. And so if you have more than one of these filler words or phrases that you need work on to just focus on one at a time, and slowly over time they just work their way out of your system. You work into new, good, better habits. You can just free up so much time.

So the first key, record yourself. You need to record yourself to figure out where your problem lies. Maybe you don't have a problem, maybe you are a more natural speaker speaker than I'm giving you credit for, and if so I apologize.

But for the majority of us, I know it is a problem. You do have those words of phrases and it's just because, like I said, you don't have the experience you haven't been taught to remove these words or phrases. It's just how people speak.

And when people get on the microphone and know they're being recorded, they get nervous. And so they start babbling or they start just filling space for the sake of filling space.

But train yourself. Like I said, train your guests. Let your guests know. If you do a pre-interview with them, let them know then.

If you don't do a pre-interview, which I often don't, just let them know before you start recording: "If I ask you a question and you need some time to think. Take your time. I can remove the silence. It's a lot harder to remove other content, any other noises you might make."

So just let them be silent.

And that's another reason I like to always record video, even if I'm not recording the video, I will have them up on the screen so I can see them.

So when either I need to go silent or they need to go silent, I know that they're still there. It's not that they didn't hear the question or I lost the connection, I can see or I can even give them a signal. Often I put up one finger and say, "just a minute" type of situation. Like, give me a minute I need some time process. And let them do that for you too.

So, get that recording, figure out where your problems lie. Pick your most overused word or phrase, practice leaving silence. And just repeat until you've cleaned up your speech. That's all it takes.

Like I said, I still leave plenty of silence in my recordings, but that is so easy to remove my editing times have gone from an hour long to like 15 minutes.

It saves you so much time. 

I will talk a lot more about editing stuff later but the filler words or phrases, is the biggest thing that has really cleaned up my shows.

It's cleaned up my shows it's saved me so much time when it comes to editing, do it. Leave the silence, don't be afraid to leave silence.

That's all I have for this week, see you in the next episode.

Thank you for joining me today on this episode of Podcast Better.

If you're ready to get your podcast started out on the right foot, or if you're ready to take the podcast to the next level. Then I hope you'll join me, because this podcast is just a small piece of the puzzle that I am bringing to the big picture.

Ultimately, I am starting a podcast membership community called The Podcasters Guild.

The Podcasters Guild is a network of podcasters, just like you, who are serious about their podcasts and want to do everything to the best of their ability.

At the time of this recording, The Guild is just getting started. So this is your chance to get in on the ground level. This is your chance to help build and mold the guild into something that you will find useful.

I've been podcasting for the past six years with multiple podcasts and hundreds of episodes, and I want to share my experiences and expertise with you.

So, if you have any interest at all, in improving your podcast and joining me on this adventure, head over to ThePodcastersGuild.com, and join the list.

While I don't know exactly what the final results of this project will be. I do know one thing. I can't wait to see how great your podcast can be.