I made it into the Agony Aunt pages of SmartCompany, helping out with some um, err tips. Umming and erring happens to the best of us. Addressing the ums/errs is a key part of the media training work I do. Becoming aware of this habit is a start. From there, I like to slow down speaking, stop rushing and work to eliminate the errs and ums. They occur when someone is trying to work out what to say next. The umm/err punctuates that thinking time but doesn't serve any purpose. I offer a simple alternative. Take a breath, pause and think of what you need to say, then say it WITHOUT the um/err. I do fun Q & A exercises where the goal is not to say um/er. You'd be surprised how quickly you can break the habit. Embrace the power of the pause, President Obama is the pin up for this. Check out his pausing techniques.