June 9, 2013

How To Avoid Stumbling Over Your Words

We, like, communicate, um, all the time. It’s a part of, er, life. Unfortunately, when we, um, are, like, put on the spot we, uh, tend to stumble over our, uh, words.

The previous sentences don’t read easily, but it does represent how we speak. When we add extra words, it breaks up a presentation and makes us sound bad. Do you add ums, ers, ahs, and likes when you speak?

The ums, ers, ahs, and likes can destroy our presence and hurt our credibility. A smooth speech will speak of our self confidence, image, credibility, and reputation. All things where we want to shine.

Most of us are unaware that we do this. These stumbles in our speech are called disfluencies and they tend to hurt our credibility and weaken our communication skills. Adding the ums, ers, ahs, and likes between words allows our brain to process what we want to say. Typically these extra sounds come from our subconscious because we are scared of silence.

Give yourself a topic or try to tell a story in a minute. Don’t give it much thought, just do it. Record yourself. Do you like the way you sound? Do you add disfluencies to your speech? Listen to others and you’ll notice that almost everyone stumbles over their words once in awhile.

Disfluencies like the ums, ers, ahs, uhs, and likes are easy to fix if you are aware of them and focus on fixing them. Try to speak fluently. Don’t be afraid to pause for a second to collect your thoughts and process your next sentence. Watch good public speakers – they do this all the time. You will also be less likely to add disfluencies if you are confident about your subject matter. You can learn more ways to improve your public speaking on JobMonkey.

Work on removing disfluencies from your speech before you head to your next job interview. It may be the difference between nailing the job interview or not.

Try to avoid stumbling over your words. Once your public speaking skills are dialed in, then head over to the job board to find your next gig.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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