“Er” and “Um”: Banish filled pauses to improve your communication

It’s not just, er, what you have to say; how you, um, say it matters too. While it’s painful to read written language containing “er”, “um” and “uh” (collectively known as filled pauses), their use in spoken communication is commonplace and subconsciously undermines the messages received by listeners. If you’ve never considered this before, you’ll now notice it everywhere, from radio presenters to work colleagues, and you’ll almost certainly be using “ers”, “ums” and “uhs” in your own speech. If you can stop yourself from doing this, your communication skills – critical for any good User Experience designer – will be elevated considerably.