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Tuesday 22nd April, 2014

Too much ‘Um’ and ‘Er’

Sandra asks, ‘I do say ‘Um’ a lot. Is that my brain just being slow to communicate with my mouth?’

Before attempting to address this, are you sure that it is really a problem? It is normal and natural to ‘Um’ and ‘Er’ when we speak. You may be conscious of it, but unless it is irritating your audience or preventing them from hearing and engaging with your message it may not be an issue that needs a ‘fix’.

If you would like to ‘Um’ and ‘Er’ less frequently try this:

1. In advance: decide what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it and rehearse until you find you can make your points the way you would like to.
2. In the moment: take your time when you speak and use pauses rather than ‘Um’ or ‘Er’. We tend to ‘Um’ and ‘Er’ when we speak in front of an to stop other people from interjecting as well as buy ourselves some thinking time. Practise using pauses and you will appear thoughtful rather than flustered!

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