Um… ah

Image: Toastmasters

I’ve really started noticing the way people speak, in particular their incidence of “um”, “ah” or “err” in their messages. I notice this particularly in Facebook lives, sportspeople interviewed after a match (particularly rugby league players!) and in people who are public speaking… Newsreaders, influencers… people who leave voice messages! It’s endless.

It got me thinking… Why do we say um?

My motivation for writing this blog followed an interview I heard on the radio on a drive home this week. The interviewee was a business woman who was promoting her art business on a feature of this daily radio segment. Her business was fantastic and it prompted me to look up her website but her delivery was interrupted by the self-doubt evident in her conviction through the use of um and ah.

Why do we say it so much?

Is it a lack of confidence? Is it trying to cover up the awkward silences? Or is it a habit that some just can’t break?

I’ve particularly started noticing this in myself. I public speak and present regularly,  and since I have started doing online videos and reels, I’ve really started to take notice of how often I fill the gaps with this useless noise.

Politicians are also really bad at it and they need to speak with conviction.

And then I notice the people who don’t say um at all. They really stand out to me as confident speakers, and I try to emulate them.

I did some research and – short of going to Toastmasters – found this video that I found super helpful. Thank you Joya.

Joya Dass helps us out!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Are you an unconscious um-ahher!?

And it’s also like I mean y’know 😁

#um #ah #conviction #confidence #publicspeaking #presentation #hrhottips #professional #delivery


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s