Interspersing speech with ‘um’s,’ ‘ah’s’, ‘er’s’, and ‘or’s’, is distracting and off-putting to listeners. These hesitations, space fillers and time grabbers can distract listeners. Indeed, some might divert their attention completely from presenters, listening for and noting down each speech imperfection on some sort of a mental (or physical) tally sheet.

Variations to the ‘um’ count include the following:

• Beginning each sentence with ‘look’.

• Interspersing ‘you know’ through the verbal speech text.

• ‘Double clutching – ‘um, um’.

• Using ‘and’ ad nauseum as a sentence stretcher and space filler.

The list goes on. ‘Listen’ when listening and you will hear what I mean.

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