June 4, 2013

How do you get rid of the "ummm" word?

I enjoyed sharing my perspective on "ums" and "uhs" in this article by Gavin McMahon on his blog Make a Powerful Point.

Gavin asked me and three other speaking experts this question:

"How do you get rid of the ummm word?"

You might be surprised by the answers!

Click to go to the article: The "Ummm" Word.

Here are previous blog posts I've written on the topic of fillers:

Barack Obama says "uh"...

Rules for the sake of rules

Fill this...

So... here's my tip of the day

Repeater or deleter: Which one are you?

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

davidleeking said...

My college speech communication professor rid all of his students of all those uhms and ahs with a rock and an old metal Folgers coffee can. While one student was speaking, another would be on "coffee can duty." Whenever the speaker let an "uhm" etc slip out, the other student dropped the rock into the can ... in a highly echoey college classroom. That coffee can made a HUGE noise.

The result? We all learned to pause instead of saying uhm pretty fast :-)

Lisa Braithwaite said...

David, I feel that approach gives "ums" more importance than they deserve and causes the audience to listen for "ums" rather than the content and message of the presentation - which is what is actually important. (My blog post "Fill this..." listed above deals with a similar approach.) A speaker has so many responsbilities to their audience and "ums" are such a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. If I had an audience member who sat there counting my "ums" instead of listening, I'd rather they not attend my presentation at all. But I'm sure it made for some fun in your class!

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