Everyone says it…sometimes a lot…but that doesn’t make it easier on the ears.
“Um” is a word that we seem to hear more and more often in the water world. For one thing, more people are speaking publicly at a growing number of industry conferences, ad-hoc groups and legislative hearings.
Also many of the presenters don’t regularly speak in public.Add to that our inability to prepare as we should because we’re time-starved.
And there’s a trend toward more casual communication in general. Social media has no doubt contributed to the relaxation in rules.
We say um because:
Unfortunately, um achieves little and annoys much.
Worst of all, it weakens your message.
To be clear – saying um now and then is fine. We all do, it’s natural.
The problem is saying it too often. Then it’s a distraction or worse – a roadblock to understanding your message.
So, how do we say it less often? Here are some ways.
These practices build credibility because you are seen as an intentional speaker.
One last thing – don’t obsess over your ums. Worrying about what you just said can trip up the next thing you’re going to say.
Let it go and carry on!