General Question

Rememberme's avatar

How to stop saying "um" when talking?

Asked by Rememberme (661points) January 10th, 2011

what are some useful advice on how to stop saying “um” during normal casual speech?

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21 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
SamIAm's avatar

Practice? A lot! Maybe.

troubleinharlem's avatar

Be more confident! If you know what you’re talking about, I think that you’ll be less likely to say “um”. Also, practicing (maybe in front of a mirror or with a friend) by talking about anything might help you out some.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Join Toastmasters, I did, it makes a difference. Practice speaking and learning leadership techniques. Low pressure and good practice…... Look here

DeanV's avatar

College speech classes. That’ll break it like learning how to swim by jumping into a pool.

lanahopple's avatar

Talk a little slower so you have time to process your thoughts.

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t be aftraid of a little silence. Most people need to jump in and make some kind of noise. Um, you know, I mean, actually, er, are fillers.

jlelandg's avatar

in Chinese they say nei-ge which sounds about as bad as it sounds . 那个just means that… that…that

jlelandg's avatar

I meant “looks” I’m watching football right now.

Blueroses's avatar

My speech class teacher had me break the annoying “valley girl” speech habit I had of inserting “like” inappropriately into sentences (That’s like, really awesome, dude!)

I had to wear a rubber band on my wrist and snap it whenever I got called out saying the forbidden word. My friends got involved and people stayed on top of me. It took about a week but it worked very well.

JLeslie's avatar


Arbornaut's avatar

Um.. good question… um… Focus on what it is your saying, not peoples reactions to it.

Afos22's avatar

Instead of saying “um”, just don’t say anything. A short pause is hardly notable when the conversation is over, whereas “um” will make someone seem unsure of what they are saying and less informed about the subject matter.

zenvelo's avatar

I had the problem and didn’t realize it until I was in training to lead classes at work. I had to give a four minute presentation from notes while bing videotaped. Sheez! I said “uhh” about every third word! but seeing it sure broke me of the habit!

so get someone to tape you speaking from notes for four or five minutes, then watch it.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

I’d have to agree with @zenvelo . This is exactly what my professor did in speech class to have us all stop what we were doing to sabotage ourselves at the lectern (not podium, not podium!) and it worked. I’m still scared sh!tless sometimes, but eh, life goes on.

Austinlad's avatar

Listen to an audiotape of yourself… then join Toastmasters or a similar public speaking group.

torchingigloos's avatar

Carry a roll of quarters around with you and whenever you notice yourself say the word… give someone a quarter. Once you start going broke, I guarantee you’ll stop saying “Um.”

BoBo1946's avatar

Do like most President, Clinton not included, and say, “uh!”

john65pennington's avatar

This is a habit that is very boring to the listener. have you ever noticed the people on The Weather Channel and their ability to avoid “um” in their weather forecasts? as a disc jockey, years ago, i was taught to avoid “um’, like it was the plague. also, the word “uh”. over the airways this makes one sound like an idiot(nothing personal). in this situation, practice makes perfect. if you are reading something outloud to an audience or just talking from memory, the key words are: “be prepared”. read the copy over and over again, until you just about have it memorized.

Three words and letters should be taken out of your conversation, when talking to the public. they are: I, uh, and um. practice, practice, practice…..................

Austinlad's avatar

Interestingly enough, several Latin Americans I’ve met said “eh!” instead of “um,” and that I found rather charming.

zenvelo's avatar

@Austinlad sure they weren’t from Canada? maybe they learned English from a Canadian language company.

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