Have you been in a conversation with someone and every second word is “um” or “ah”?
Perhaps it’s in your vocabulary too. For most people its there. It’s become a major part of their everyday speaking and they don’t even notice they’re doing it.
So why do we do it?
The words “um” and “ah” are filler words. To be frank, they’re not even really words. To me they are just noises. People use these fillers and they add no value to what they are saying. It’s just filling in the dead air between thoughts.
What happens, is that when we are speaking, our mouth is faster than our mind and, in the time that we are reaching for the right word or the next sentence the prospect of silence is one that people just can’t get their mind around.
Is it because we are worried that silence means the end of our turn to speak? Possibly. In the time we are reaching for the right word or the next thought to be formulated into a sentence in our mind, our mouth takes over and there it is… “UM”! Or the prolonged “Ahhh”.
The other main time that you’ll discover an “um” or “ah” is when someone asks you a question. You reach in your mind for the answer because you either don’t know the answer and you’re trying to come up with one. Or you do know the answer and you’re trying to formulate a sentence in response.
Um’s and Ah’s add no value to what we are saying. It’s time to strike them from our vocabulary and deliver a well formulated sentence.
If you’re not getting your message across because you’re stuck in a never ending “ahhh”, whether in presentations or even one-on-one conversations we can help! At The Better Speaker we focus on making you the best speaker possible. Contact us now to find out how!