Ums and Ahs are Fillers That Point to Public Speaking Anxiety

Did you know that ums and ahs are fillers that point to an underlying public speaking anxiety? Once you are aware of this fact, you start to listen more carefully to speakers. You might notice that when someone speaks without any fillers, you feel like you can listen more easily. The speaker’s words seem to flow together more smoothly as opposed to the choppy, hesitant sounds of the ums and ahs.

How to Remove Uhms and Ahs

Most people don’t even realize that they are speaking with fillers. Today I found an article written by Daniel Batten that gives people a tip on how to remove these fillers.

Batten writes “remove all ums from your language – and replace them with pauses. What I suggest is: Record yourself reading out a paragraph from any book. Read the same passage putting in ums and ahs at a conversational frequency. Read the same passage, replacing ums and ahs with pauses. Listen to the difference. The difference in your ability to process what you are hearing is like night and day. Hearing is believing – so hearing this, you’ll immediately start using ums and ahs a lot less. This exercise doesn’t work if you imagine it. It takes 5 minutes, but the difference it makes will be yours for life. So there you have it. Above all – have fun with it and be you … but a heightened version of you.”

Daniel Batten at:

Doreen’s Essential Speaking Tip:

The exercise above is a good way to start with becoming more aware of how much you might be using fillers. Now when you speak to anyone, you can turn on your self-monitor and listen to yourself as you speak. Be careful not to be impatient. Just notice and take a breath as you hear the uhms and ahs. That breath is the pause that Daniel Batten is talking about.

If this post has been useful, please comment below and share with others.