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Monday
Apr162012

4 Reasons Why People Say "Ummm" When They Speak 

reasons why people say ummm
Are you one of those people who are annoyed by people who say "Um" when they speak? Even worse... are you yourself one of those people who say "Ummm"???

If so, don't feel bad, Researchers say it's just human nature and over 40% of all verbal mistakes by people (even public speakers) are "um" .

Although it might be perfectly normal and a part of human nature to say "Umm", you can easily end up sounding like a babbling fool to others, which is why i try to avoid having conversations like this...

FRIEND: "hey cocoa, where are you DJing at tonite"?
COCOA: "ummmmm... i'll be...um, on 48th street"


Even though i myself have committed the "Um" crime (hangs head in shame) it kinda annoys me when others do it, especially if they do it a lot.

I came across a interesting article on speakerconfessions.com that list the top 4 reasons why we say Ummm... and 4 ways we can stop...

If you or someone you know is guilty of saying "Ummmm" when speaking, For the love of God, PLEASE read below, lol

SIDE NOTE*** sometimes a person might say "ummmmm" just to by time so they can think of a lie (i'm jus sayin).

4 REASONS PEOPLE SAY "UM"
1) It’s a habit in normal speech. People don’t just do it on stage, they do it in real conversations all the time. We just don’t notice it as much. In one study 40% of all verbal mistakes are umms of some kind (From Erard’s book, below).

2) It’s a way to hold the floor. By making noise you indicate you’re not done and prevent other people from interrupting you. This is not necessary of course when on stage, unless it’s a really tough crowd.

3) It’s a nervous habit. Some do it more when they are nervous. Generally the worst way to express nerves is through your mouth if you’re giving a presentation.

4) We are afraid of silence. There is the feeling among many people when they speak that if they are silent people will boo them off the stage. So they feel obligated never to stop, and never to stop making some kind of noise.
4 WAYS TO BREAK THE "UM" HABBIT
1) Admit you have a problem. This is always the first step and it’s the hard one. You may do it an not know. Record the next talk you give and listen. If you umm more than once every 10 minutes, you may have a problem.

2) Practice. Most people can learn their way out of the habit if they practice talking and catch themselves every time they um.

3) Enjoy the Silence. Depeche Mode had it right. Pick your favorite speaker and pay attention to their pauses. Good speakers enjoy their silence. They take patience between points to let them sit. And when lost allow themselves a few moments of silence to sort things out in their own mind. If you notice when a speaker is silent they draw in more power from the room, like a wave going out before it comes back in.

4) Feel the pain! Some toastmasters groups go so far as to have an “ummmgong”, someone who rings a little bell every time someone says “ummmm” in a practice presentation. It’s a bit militant but it probably works.
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