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Um. It’s a simple word, and it’s one that most of us use too often. It’s a crutch that we all say to stall while we think of the next thing we want to say.

Even if you don’t use um when talking Learn A Language By Talking With Real People Using WeSpeke Learn A Language By Talking With Real People Using WeSpeke Learning a language is hard when you're not immersed in the culture and surrounded by people who speak the language. WeSpeke connects you with fluent speakers of the language you're trying to learn Read More , you probably have another word that you use when you need a second to think about what you want to say.

Regardless of what crutch word you use, there are ways to stop. You can stop relying on these words and speak more smoothly, whether you’re doing public speaking Slay These 8 Public Speaking Demons to Conquer Your Fear Slay These 8 Public Speaking Demons to Conquer Your Fear It's often said that people fear public speaking more than death. But it's something that many have to do regularly. Here are eight public speaking demons and how to kill them. Read More , or just looking to sound more intelligent in your daily conversations Slated Is An iOS 8 Keyboard That Translates Conversations For You Slated Is An iOS 8 Keyboard That Translates Conversations For You My German-Italian mother-in-law and I haven't talked this much via SMS in ages. Read More , and the infographic below has the 11 tips that you need to know to make it happen!

Via London Speaker Bureau

Click to Enlarge

StopSayingUmInfographic

  1. Maryon Jeane
    October 17, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Thank you, Mihir (blush!) - but it's interesting, stimulating articles which do it!

  2. tcris52
    October 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    That's like, um, actually a really bad idea. I'd actually rather people actually stopped saying actually like, um, so much.

  3. fcd76218
    October 16, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    TIP 12:
    Substitute saying 'LIKE' for saying 'UM' :-)

  4. Maryon Jeane
    October 16, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    The secret - whether you're giving a formal speech or lecture or just speaking out in a crowd of friends and acquaintances, is definitely:

    ? Knowing what you want to say and being interested in it
    ? Saying it in a clear, straightforward way
    ? Listening to yourself (but not over-listening or over-monitoring)
    ? Talking to individuals in the audience (not just one, but focusing on different people as you go)
    ? Starting definitely, moving along at a good pace, ending definitely: beginning, middle, end

    Everything else follows. If you're interested in and connected with what you want to say, you will take your audience with you - and you won't fidget, flounder, or use fillers like 'Um' or their physical equivalents.

    Preparation is very good, and the Demosthenes way of getting hold of the sequence and flow of your speech is truly excellent (I've written a slightly humorous piece on this if you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/oyxcq43). You won't forget what you have to say, you will flow easily from one part to another, and because you have a visual scenario in your head you will be more relaxed - and relaxed speakers engage well with their audiences.

    The only other thing is clarity. If you are tense or if you are concentrating on yourself overmuch, your voice will be strangled by your tautened vocal cords, your shallow breathing and your failure to lift your head and shoulders to the medium point (looking straight ahead). If your audience can't hear you properly, they will become restless and disengaged and you, in turn, will sense this and it will make the situation worse. Stop, take a deep breath, relax, smile, and start again.

    Concentrate on:

    ? The story (every good speech is effectively a story)
    ? The audience (fine tune as you go, gauge the mood in the room)
    ? Yourself and what you're doing (fidgeting too much? not relaxing? not looking up and out?)

    in that order.

    And enjoy yourself - public speaking can be fun!

    • Mihir Patkar
      October 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      You're my favorite commenter ever, Maryon. Yet again, a wonderful, detailed, thoughtful reply. Love it!

    • Fawaz Rehman
      October 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      good advice. thanks.

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