Tim Warner has another useful piece on eliminate ‘um’ and ‘ah’ from the speech. These placeholder nosies are annoying and my distract your listener’s attention. He suggests to stop them, record yourself in your presentation and study your speech afterward. I must admit sometimes I still cannot lose them as well, so this post is pretty useful for me:
… I am not suggesting, necessarily, that you get into the instructional design gig to improve your public speaking skills. On the other hand, I do recommend that, if you are willing, that you set up your camcorder in your living room when you are home alone and you deliver one or more extemporaneous speeches—totally off-the-cuff material to catch your verbal language at its most spontaneous and natural.
After you have finished, observe your speech and study that thing. Over and over. Listen extremely closely to the dynamics of your language. We’re not talking about narcissism here, folks. Instead, we are dealing with enlightenment and professional growth.
The best possible scenario is to capture an example of your speaking or teaching ‘in the wild.’ This way you can listen to how you sound in a ‘production environment,’ as it were. Believe me, when you hear how many times you use filler words, it will rattle you to your core, and you’ll develop a newfound self-awareness that will help stanch your subconscious desire to use these filler words during your next class or public speaking event…
How to Lose the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ from Your Speech – [Mother Tongue Annoyances]
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