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Filler words — including um and uh — are never written into a speech, and add nothing when a speaker utters them.
Yet these insidious verbal hiccups are ubiquitous, uttered by most speakers in most speeches every day.
Robin Hutchins writes:
I teach a college speech class. The most common struggle my students have is the use of filler words such as um and uh. Do you have a strategy that helps to omit filler words?
What can be done? Is it hopeless?
In this article, we examine why filler words have a negative impact on your effectiveness, and learn a five-step strategy for reducing them.