We live in a world where we accept a lot of bad vocal habits as normal. When I speak with someone, even amazingly educated and insightful people, I hear them insert the non-word, “Um”, into their sentences repeatedly. It’s as if they are afraid to allow one moment of actual silence. Truth is, those annoying “fillers” are destroying the beauty of English. Can you imagine listening to a song and hearing the singer insert “Uh’s” and “Um’s”? I can’t, that would be ridiculous. So why is it still accepted in the non-singing sentences? It is possible because people are not aware of making that mistake themselves. I always say that everyone should record themselves speaking regularly. That way, they know exactly what other people are listening to, and if it is acceptable or not. Here are two tips to eliminate “fillers” from your speech. One, connect all the words together and don’t stop making sound until you get to a comma or a period. Make sure that you are sustaining some vowels in certain words. Just hold out the vowel and let it last a bit longer than other words in the sentence. That’ll also help you get a great singsongy quality. Next, make sure when you breathe, at the spaces for the comma and periods, that you make NO SOUND. Just close your lips, breathe in, breathe out and be silent. Those silent pauses will actually keep your listeners more attentive. Try these tow ideas and start to get rid of your “fillers” today. You’ll be a better person because of it.
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