“Um” is a verbal tick a lot of us have without really noticing when we speak. But the second you step into a job interview, everything about you is on trial – and they’ll certainly notice. Even in more casual situations, being a constant “um”-er makes you seem unknowledgeable and less intelligent. Even if you don’t care about that, remember your friends may one day double as network opportunities, and if they consider you unintelligent they may prefer not to work with you where they otherwise would have.
Regardless, there are a lot of very good reasons to quit it with the “ums”. It’s something to work on – when you catch yourself going in for an “um”, replace it with silence. Even saying something like, “Oh, what was it?” or, “Man, it’s on the tip of my tongue,” is preferable to the dreaded “um”.
“Um” is the verbal equivalent of the loading bar on the computer. Everyone hates loading bars. So do your best to cut down on yours!