An Argument and Suggestions for Minimizing Verbal Crutches

Brett and Kate McKay at The Art of Manliness state their argument and suggestions for minimizing verbal crutches.

Becoming Well-Spoken: How to Minimize Your Uh’s and Um’s

Um’s and uh’s indicate that the speaker is “in trouble.” The primary view on the purpose of filler is that it is either an involuntary symptom or a purposeful signal (here linguists do not agree) that the speaker gives to indicate to his listeners that he is “in trouble” – he needs a moment to plan what to say next or to hunt for something in his memory. It tells the audience that there is about to be a delay. “Uh’s” signal a shorter delay, while “um’s” tell the audience the delay will be longer.

Basically, um’s and uh’s happen when you’re trying to think and speak at the same time. This is why they occur more frequently during transitions to a new topic or at the beginning of a sentence rather than at the end or in the middle of one; your brain is idling at the juncture between planning and executing what to say next.

Toastmasters is a great options for practicing your presentation skills (and working to eliminate these fillers).

Incoming Club Officers

Chamber Voices has achieved President’s Distinguished status, the highest distinction made by Toastmasters International, in each consecutive term since 2004. Each year, an executive committee is elected to drive the club to this level of success. These officers begin their term as of July 1, 2012:

  • President: Kristina Greer, ACB, CL
  • Vice President Education: Rob Laughlin
  • Vice President Membership: Debbie Makiri
  • Vice President Public Relations: Julie Quan, CC
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Kay Collis, DTM
  • Sergeant at Arms: Helmut Kuhn

Thank you to each of the outgoing executive committee members for their commitment to achieve an eight consecutive President’s Distinguished term.

  • President: Nate Rosenberg, CC, CL
  • Vice President Education: Paul Mangual, ACB, CL
  • Vice President Membership: Manolita Moore
  • Vice President Public Relations: Brian Rice, ACB, ALB
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Kay Collis, DTM
  • Sergeant at Arms: Robert Laughlin


Toastmasters International Member Demographics

A profile of Toastmasters members:

  • 52% of members are female and 48% are male.
  • The average member annual household income is $50,000-$74,999.
  • 30% of members earn $100,000+ annually.
  • The average member age is 45.8 years.
  • 25.4% of members are between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • 74% of members have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 35% of members have a master’s degree or higher.

What industries employ Toastmasters?

  • 17% professional, scientific and technical services
  • 15% finance, insurance and real estate
  • 8% educational services
  • 14% other
  • Only 3.2% of members are unemployed.

As reported by Toastmasters International