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Archive for March, 2013

Common Reasons People Use Ums and Ahs in Public Speaking – And How to Avoid Them (the Ums and Ahs, Not the People) – Part 2

When I was a little girl, I remember some of my Girl Scout friends and I walking through a wooded area singing the lyrics, “I can see clearly now the rain has gone.  I can see all obstacles in my way.”  And then we would (fake) slam into a tree and laugh, and laugh at how clever we were!

While we were faking being blind-sided, there are times when you honestly don’t see it coming.  You go to a meeting or event with no expectations and you’re put on the …

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Common Reasons People Use Ums and Ahs in Public Speaking – And How to Avoid Them (the Ums and Ahs, Not the People) – Part 1

If you’re not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s the world’s leading organization for helping people get better at public speaking.  One of the ways they help people is there is a particular role that a member of a Toastmasters club plays during a meeting called the “Grammarian.”

It’s the grammarian’s job to listen for people saying filler sounds, such as “um” and “ah,” while people are speaking.  The grammarian also listens for common crutch phrases such as “you know,” “I mean,” “and so I’m like,” or any other …

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Why You Can’t Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

On a street in Spain with my mom and kid brother.

I was a Navy brat growing up and my dad was stationed in Spain for 4 years when I was in grade school.  While living in Spain, I picked up a few words of Spanish.  We lived in the Andalusia territory of southern Spain and I’m told that I pronounce certain words with an Andalusian accent.  (At …

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