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

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You do you!

Image: TeePublic

How do you react when you’re treated badly or disrespected by colleagues, friends or the general public?

How about when you meet wait staff at a restaurant or cafe, or servers at the supermarket and they don’t greet you with the warm, friendly tone one might come to expect?

Do you work with people who appear to vibrate on a lower level to you?

Sometimes you meet a downright fool.

Funnily enough, in a lot of workplaces, respect is listed as a company “value”. Yet some people within the company treat colleagues and customers without respect.

It leads me to think “What is wrong with them? Why do they have to be that way?”

Why can’t people just be respectful and nice to other people all the time?

When it comes to the workplace this is just simply not the case.

Some people aren’t as uppity and bubbly as others. Some just don’t like to smile; some are always negative. Something is always going wrong.

And sometimes people can be going through rough times, but sometimes it’s their disposition. Negativity attracts negativity.

As a positive extrovert, it’s hard not to take these types of behaviour personally.

But the truth is, these people have as much of a right to be negative and a Debbie Downer as positive and perpetually happy people have to be just that.

There is not right or wrong.

The best thing we can do in these is to not let these instances take up real estate in our minds.

Another tactic is to be grateful that you are you.

You are not them.

They have to live with it – you don’t.

Release the negative impact it has on you, and keep your posture and head held high and most of all your authenticity and integrity.

I’d love to know about you – whether you’re a positive or a negative person and how you respond to unpleasant encounters. Does it bother you?

#respect #workplace #treatment #losers #hrhottips #leadership #authentic #integrity

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