Toastmasters is a great place to become aware of what you can do to improve your speaking skills. Many of us realize that we chronically use “um”, “uh”, “so”, “like”, or “you know” as crutch words when we get our filler word count for evening from our Grammarian.

But (sadly) you can’t be at Toastmasters all the time, so you might not be noticing how often you use those words all the times you’re NOT at your weekly meeting! Fortunately there are other ways to monitor how often you use these filler words in your day to day life.

  • Become more mindful of what comes out of your mouth. Slow down when you speak, speak with deliberation, and be aware of exactly what you’re saying. You’ll notice your ums and uhs when you’re paying attention to what you’re saying.
  • Get a buddy. A roommate, a spouse, a friend, a coworker… anyone you regularly talk to makes a great candidate for your off-meeting grammarian. Get someone else to point out when you use your crutch words, and be more aware of when (and how often) you use them.
  • Record yourself speak! If you’re doing a presentation at work, giving a speech at Toastmasters, or having a conversation with someone consider recording it (provided the people around you don’t mind!). You might notice ums and uhs that you never realized you used.

Happy counting!