Speech coaches will always tell you to avoid filling pauses in your sentences with "um." It makes you sound unpolished, uncertain -- maybe even unprofessional.

So here are a few ways to make sure you don't fall into the "um" trap:

1.  Keep your hands out of your pockets. This is based on several studies.

2.  Get into the habit of pausing between sentences. Bill Clinton is a great example.

3.  Know what you're going to say before you say it. Preparedness is the key.

4.  Keep making eye contact. Filler words are not needed when you do this.

5.  And if you're on the phone, don't multitask ... focus on the conversation.

Full story here.

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