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Do You, um, Distract Your Audience?

Have you ever, um, listened, um, to someone who, um, has a distracting pattern to the way they, um, speak?

Or, like, have you ever, like, focused so hard on, like, one aspect of their speech pattern, that you, like, can’t hear anything else?


Seemingly tiny distractions in your speech pattern can become a really big deal in the work place. Because once people start to HEAR you say “um” or “like” or “you know” they won’t hear anything else. Once they realize you are saying that sound, word or phrase a lot, their brain won’t let them focus on anything BUT that sound, word or phrase. And then your message will get lost.

If we want to make an impact with our communication skills in the work place, we need to make sure we don’t do anything that will distract from our message.

So, record yourself sometime, and listen to yourself. Do you have any consistent (and annoying) little patterns in your speech? If so, make note of them, and work on raising your own awareness of that pattern. The first step to recovery is recognition. Once you start to HEAR the pattern for yourself, it now becomes possible to coach it out of yourself.

It will take time, but we all need to work on eliminating any distracting patterns to our speech. We want to get rid of anything that will get in the way of our audience hearing and acting on our message.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at

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