17 Jul Um? So What!
SO I am sitting at a stop light (in my car) waiting for the light to give me the go… along side me comes rumbling up.. a 1965 Plymouth Fury. Aaaaah. I have been looking for one of these- it was my first car and I am still in love.
Am I creating my universe or do we just get back what we focus on? Does that sentence even make sense? My point, amidst my caffeine headache, did I see 4 of these cars the past 3 weeks because I was looking for them…. were they always there and I didn’t notice… or did I manifest some parallel universe where these grand machines live in abundance.
I remember a few years ago when I traveled to Santiago Cuba my amazement of the time-stood-still vehicle time machine. So many of the vehicles are from the 50’s when Cuba could purchase America cars before the ’63 embargo. Thirty years later and the 50’s American dream cars were alive and well.
Yet, the past few weeks I was not in Cuba. I sense that I see all these ’65 machines because I am alert and looking for them. They have been going along fine in their life, all around me. And now, I see them.
What we focus on is what we see. It bothered me today. I had someone call me to interview me as a potential speech coach. I asked them their number one desire in the training. They felt they could use some basic speech training, “You know, get rid of the ‘um’s.” It seemed they had taken a Toastmasters class and each time they said um a coin was dropped in a jar. They wanted someone to help them get rid of the ums in the same way.
Um, can I be honest with you right now? I absolutely HATE Toastmasters and all they stand for. The last thing a person needs when they are embracing the joy of public speaking is some silly person dropping a coin in a jar.. letting the person know what they are doing wrong.
And who said that saying UM is bad anyway? Why as a people do we hate this word so much? People have been conditioned now to listen for it and grade the speaker based on this ridiculous litmus test. We focus on the um’s.. we get the um’s.
You can say 13 UPS (Ums per speech) and I will not care if you related to me as a person… engaged me… got me involved.
Take my advice, be careful who you accept crticism from in public speaking. Your way just may be the right way. The goal of a speech is not to be perfect.. well, it is to be perfect as YOU. Be You. Folks come to hear YOU not your words.
Do also avoid loving a car that is 40 years old, bad for the environment and gets 10 miles to the gallon….it is heartbreaking to, um, want something so ‘bad.’