How to Stop Saying "Ah" and "Um" in a Speech

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The insertion of "ah" and "um" into remarks made in public is not uncommon. Government officials conducting news briefings and gifted actors being interviewed on talk shows often pepper their replies to questions with the interjections, which may signal a search for just the right word or an effort frame a response in a clear way.


When you are giving a speech, however, an ah here and an um there might reasonably be seen as evidence of the lack of preparation. Worse, it can convey lack of knowledge. A few precautions may help you eliminate these unwanted sounds from your speech.

  • Write your speech. Do not attempt to deliver a public speech without writing it out.

  • Memorize the speech.

  • Ask a friend to listen to your speech and count the number of times you say "ah" or "um."

  • Practice the speech again, and have the listener stop you each time you use ah and um.

  • Continue to repeat the speech until you are able to deliver it without the insertion of ah an um.

  • Utilize a silent pause, which will give you time to carefully form the next sentence and will give your audience time to absorb what you have just said.

  • Practice speaking a sentence and stopping before going to the next sentence. Recognize the short amount of time between sentences.

  • Videotape your speech and use the film to analyze your delivery.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice speaking a sentence and stopping before going to the next sentence. Recognize the short amount of time between sentences.
  • Video tape your speech to see and hear yourself speak.
  • It takes time to stop saying Ah or Um when speaking.

References

  • Photo Credit google images
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