How to Avoid Ums, Like, and You Know

Carolyn Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy

Do you often speak in a style that often had the words like, you know and weird pauses of um? Try counting the number of those words when you make a speech. You would be surprised by the way you speak can hold you back in your career. It distracts people to truly hear your message and ideas. Due to the habit of ending sentences with an upward inflection, it displays a lack of confidence to your audience. There is also a possibility that your clients may cancel a job due to your speaking style.

Remember the failed Senate bid of Carolyn Kennedy in 2008? Kennedy seemed unable to attract the audience and articulate her ideas without saying you know”.  As you rise up the corporate ladder, the bigger the spotlight and expectation.

In order to change your speaking style to sound more professional, here are some easy steps:

  1. Take a video of yourself. Make sure you are aware of the ums, likes, and you knows. A co-worker or a higher level professional can give you advice on how to improve.
  2. Study the speaking styles of politicians or business leaders. Today, there are many top-notch leaders that you can study from. Take a look at the speeches of Barack Obama, Howard Schultz, Indra Nooyi, and the higher-ups at your company. Make a note on how they pace their speech and when to pause. Notice how they deliver their ideas to attract the crowd in front of them.
  3. Join Inborn Voice. Voice & speech lessons are offered to anyone who would like to improve their speech effectiveness for interviews and public speech in the areas of Beverly, Salem, Peabody, Danvers, and internationally through online classes.

In the end, it’s not about copying someone else’s speech style, but to take the elements that make them successful. It’s still about delivering your own unique ideas and using those elements to attract the crowd.

Contact Inborn Voice now to become truly professional at interviews and public speeches.


Take the first step!

We offer world-class training to improve your personal, social and business communication skills. We specialize in presentations, leadership, media training, interviewing and Executive speaking.
Inborn Voice shapes tomorrow's leaders.

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  1. Jessie
    April 27, 2017 at 04:51

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about!

  2. loretta
    February 10, 2020 at 20:43


  3. Ilene Prevo
    October 20, 2021 at 23:52

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this article!

  4. Roger Sitkiewicz
    October 22, 2021 at 17:11

    Incredibly useful article! Thanx!!

  5. Sabrina Weck
    October 27, 2021 at 03:43

    Thanks for allowing me to comment this very nice article!

  6. Johnny Geiger
    October 29, 2021 at 04:23

    I stumbled upon this by chance and I loved all the tips!

  7. James anogs
    February 4, 2022 at 10:11

    I have to admit this blog post is one of a kind. I learned much more here than the whole internet!

  8. Peterc
    February 10, 2022 at 12:54

    Спасибо большое

  9. Tonton Pigeon
    February 19, 2022 at 16:01


  10. Joseph Vok
    February 24, 2022 at 21:11

    Kudos to you, Mylena

  11. James Ecosse
    March 2, 2022 at 18:48

    Please share more content like this one

  12. Leonard Poele
    March 13, 2022 at 04:56

    Great tips, I love them

  13. Charles Bowers
    March 17, 2022 at 01:40

    Ehm… thank you for sharing !-P

  14. Vincent
    April 10, 2022 at 18:26

    Thank you for sharing this, I find your expertise to be top notch!

  15. Grant Trepors
    April 13, 2022 at 08:53

    Easily said than done, at least to me. Any other useful tip?

  16. Draconis
    April 14, 2022 at 17:07

    I like the idea you expose on this post, Mylena!

  17. Jarrod Fap
    April 16, 2022 at 07:13

    Good post, I share it!

  18. Alder
    April 18, 2022 at 17:15

    Well, while these informations are effective, I suspect there is more to learn!

  19. Peter Wem
    April 20, 2022 at 00:46

    I love this article!

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    April 26, 2022 at 00:53

    Nice site I’m glad I found it

  21. Kevin Floni
    April 28, 2022 at 05:09

    Great post

  22. Eugene
    May 19, 2022 at 12:48

    I read smaller articles which are clear.

  23. Sherman
    May 26, 2022 at 16:38

    Very interesting information! Perfect justwwhat I was looking for!

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    June 10, 2022 at 07:40

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website!