Five Ways to Stop Saying “Um” All the Time
Studies have found that young people say the word "um" more than older people. Obviously. And men use filler words 38% more than women. But there are actually things you can do to train yourself to stop. Here are five tricks . . .
1. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Several studies have found that you use words like "um" a lot more when your hands are in your pockets for some reason.
2. Get into the habit of pausing between sentences. A lot of people use filler words, because they feel like once they start talking they have to KEEP talking. But pausing between sentences can actually add more gravity to what you're saying.
3. Know what you're going to say before you say it. Which isn't always possible unless you're giving a presentation at work or something. In that case, practice it as much as you can. And in general, think about what you're saying before you say it.
4. Keep making eye contact. You don't use as many filler words when you do, because it keeps you from being distracted.
5. And if you're on the phone, don't multitask . . . focus on the conversation.
So, um, what do you think? Do you say "um" a lot? Like, totally, riiiiight?