Drop the Ummms and Ahhhs 2


In the last briefing, we introduced the junk words “ummm” and “ahhh” and why they can detract from your message. 


Here are three methods you can use to eliminate those offending junk words from your vocabulary: 


1) Awareness – whenever you have the urge to say “ummm” or “ahhh”, substitute a silent pause. Train your brain to insert a silent pause instead of letting your voice blurt out “ummm” or “ahhh”.


Being aware that these junk words are infiltrating your message is the first step towards eliminating them. A pause projects thoughtfulness, not fumbling around for the right words to say. 


2) Audience participation – Practice presenting in front of a small group of peers or friends. Whenever your audience hears you utter an “ummm” or an “ahhh”, have them clap their hands or pound on a table or desk. After a short period of time you will lose the urge to “ummm”. 


You might feel like you’re being conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs, but your communication will be much clearer and far more professional.  


3) Record your own voice – Take time to record a one or two-minute audio of you delivering a sales message. Whenever you say “ummm” or “ahhh”, start the recording over and repeat your message from the beginning. This will help you get through a complete message minus the junk words. 


You can also analyze the recordings to identify when you blurt out “ummm” and “ahhh”. You might find common phrases where you utter the junk words… then you can rework your message to reduce the instances of those offending junk words. 


Experiment with all three of these methods if necessary. One of them will surely work for you and help you speak more clearly and more professionally. 


I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about what it takes to Become a Great Communicator, visit my website at thetechseller.com.