UmBusters online starts the week of April 26.
FREE until May 13!
UmBusters groups start the week of April 26th
12 - 1 p.m. (ET)
6:30-7:30 p.m. (ET)
FREE thru MAY 13!
Drop in to a meeting or two, or come to every one- it's up to you.
Register once to get the Zoom link - and then you can come to any or all free meetings.
Registration Form is below.
After the FREE introductory period ends on MAY 13 - MEETINGS ARE JUST $15. More info coming soon!
From a former client on the impact of reducing ums.
"Now that I dropped the ums and learned to slow down, I feel much more relaxed. I can actually hear myself talking and experience people listening. I feel way more present now when I speak to others."
Is Um your chum- or your frenemy?
Saying “um” and “ah” is a normal part of talking. Those little words we call "filler" actually help us communicate in ways that regular words can’t.
Here’s an example: Your teenager walks into the kitchen, looking guilty. She puts the keys down on the counter.
“What’s wrong?” you ask.
“Well, ummm uhhh, I have something to tell you," she says, staring at the floor. "I, ummm, I got into a fender bender.”
Those ums and uhhs "say" what our teen can't. They translate to: “I’ve got some bad news,” or “ I don’t know how to break it to you but... .”
Um is a utility player for all sorts of sticky situations communicating. Here's just some of the ways we use it.
To be playful:
“Do you love me?”
“Well, ummmm, let’s see.”
“I think you have to have a degree to succeed.”
“Well, umm, my brother has a successful trucking company and he has a GED.”
And the #1 reason- as a placeholder.
“What’s a six-letter word for “um” or “ah”?
“Um….uhhh..oh yeah, 'filler'?”
We use um to say, “I'm still connected to you, listener, I just need a second to think of the next word.” We want to show our listener that we're still there with them. We haven’t 'checked out.'
So um is a good thing. Until it's too much of a good thing.
While you weren't looking, your space holding chum um has sprouted up where you may not want it, especially when you are nervous -- talking to your boss, making a presentation, speaking at a meeting. It fills in anywhere there is the tiniest opening - between sentences, phrases, and even words.
How did it multiply so fast? Um, do ums have actual sex? (See why I "ummed" there?)
How did your occasional “um” helper -- your chum -- become a rapidly multiplying legion of “buttinskies'" you can't control?
Has your chum become your frenemy?
If it's infiltrated your speech patterns so that you don't even notice it, or if you notice it, you can't control it, then maybe you're in the frenemy zone— or maybe we should say "frenumy"?
But even if you don't notice the ums, your listeners do. And not in a good way.
Ums in a group (like teenagers) are loud. And because of that, they um, (that's the "I want to break it to you gently" um), steal the listener's attention from the good stuff you're trying to say. That means that your wise words, your well-thought-out pitch, or your insightful point may be muffled by those little, but frequent, ums.
And, um, there's more bad news.
Ums don't just distract from your message, they also send a message of their own. They tell the listener that you're nervous. Of course you're nervous, but you don't want it to be broadcast constantly! But, worse, they can also lie to the listener, suggesting to them you're unprepared, or you're not sure of what you're saying, when that's not true.
Can you really get rid of those distracting, mouthy, fibbing little fillers?
Yes, you can. And I've developed UmBusters to help you do just that. Have you ever learned a new habit? Well, reducing or eliminating ums is a habit, just like not smoking or remembering to drink more water. You learn techniques that work for you, and you practice them. Then you notice new things that work, and you practice them.
And one day you notice that you sound better, and you like it.
And then you notice that you actually don't dread speaking and maybe you even like it. You feel more engaged and more confident, and you can begin to see that you are making your point more effectively with colleagues, clients, and even your boss! And they may not tell you, but they definitely notice it too.
Is it worth it?
If you find that you don't have a lot of filler, then maybe it's not worth it for you. After all, some ums and ahs are natural. But if you want to speak more effectively AND you are "umming" almost every sentence or two, then it is worth working on. Because to overcome the ums, you'll learn and practice techniques that will make you an overall better speaker, not just an "ummless" one.
As one of my coaching clients, a former "ummer," told me,
Now that I dropped the ums and learned to slow down, I feel so much more relaxed. I can actually hear myself talking and experience people listening. I feel way more present now when I speak to people."
At UmBusters, you'll get support, feedback, and fun
At UmBusters, everybody is working on the same thing you are: getting rid of the filler that's standing in your way. You'll practice together, give each feedback and encouragement, and share challenges, successes and laughs.
There's no punitive measures -- no um bells or buzzers. (Unless you're into that sort of thing and then we'll gladly use them.) And it's not about turning you into some robotic "never-ummer." It's about helping you get to whatever level of "umlessness" you want.
At UmBusters, our mission is to help you find your power beneath the filler. To give you the tools and time to quiet the ums so your voice can be heard -- loud, clear, and confident.
If you're ready to have your voice heard, sign up below.
Once you sign up, you'll receive a welcome email with the meeting link.
But that's not all.
You'll also get regular emails with tips and resources for reducing filler and becoming a stronger speaker.
You'll have access to videos, articles, tip sheets, and live events to help you be a better speaker.