It’s easy to let a couple “ums” slip when you’re thinking of what to say or looking for the right word. Unfortunately, the more you “um,” the less credible you seem.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, people view frequent “ummers” as “uncomfortable, inarticulate, uninteresting, ill-prepared, nervous, disfluent, unattractive, monotonous, unsophisticated, and lacking confidence.” Ouch.
But if you’ve ever tried to rid your speech of “ums,” you know it’s pretty hard. One weird tip? Don’t put your hands in your pockets when you’re speaking. Research shows that this stance increases the number of filler words we use.
To discover 10 more tricks for cutting out “um” and other filler words, check out this infographic from the London Speaker Bureau.