My dad gave me some advice a long time ago, and it has really altered the way i think about almost every public speaker i hear and almost every conversation i have.
When i was growing up, if i was sitting at the dinner table and had just told the family what happened that day, he would say "you have to give me a dollar for every time you just said umm"
Now, adjusted for income earning power and inflation, today it should be $100, and in my opinion this should apply to "Umm", "Ahh", "you know"
Its always more poignant to leave a white space rather than feel you need to fill the air with noise. Listen to almost all political and key business leaders, they almost never use these words, and often use big clear white spaces in their spoken word.
Now at this point i have to apologise to you if you are reading this, as this information has fundamentally ruined my ability to listen to others who use the words "Umm", "Ahh", "you know"
Sorry... but i hope this makes your speech a little more poignant
Posted by Nick Holmes a Court @ 9:44 PM