In many speaking tests, speakers are penalized for saying non-word sounds, such as "um" or "uh". Eliminating these sounds is also one of the quickest ways to sound more sophisticated in presentations, meetings, and even everyday life.
- What impression do these sounds give when you speak?
- What other effects do these sounds have on the listener?
Answer this tough question, and focus on not saying any non-word sounds. Your instructor will be strict about this.
There are a few ways to deal with this issue:
- The first and most obvious strategy is to say nothing. But that doesn't mean allowing long, awkward pauses. We will work on pausing effectively. Discuss this with your instructor.
- If you need a little longer to think, then use fillers, like "Let me see..." or "That's a good question", as well as any other filler phrases that show you are thinking.
Now let's practice some more questions. Focus on avoiding non-word sounds.