Whether you’re doing a public speaking stint or not, peppering your verbal sentences with “um” and “you know” can make you appear uncertain at best and unconvincing at worst.
So says Paula Statman, one of the expert speaking coaches quoted in the BBC’s “The secret to stopping your ‘ummms’,” which I found quite timely as I’m preparing to do some speaking in the upcoming months.
I already do a weekly stand-up report, and have resolved to watch my phraseology.
Here’s one of the tips I just learned:
Instead of using filler words to allow your mouth and thoughts to catch up, just pause instead. An ‘um’ only takes a second. So will pausing, but it’ll have far less of a damning impact.
Unless, of course, you lose your entire train of thought at this crucial moment. Stay engaged!
Get more tips here.