- Verbal mistakes make up between 5 and 8 percent of your everyday speech;Clearly, we'll want to read this one to find out why. In the meantime, keep your hands out of your pockets and practice our other fixes for ums and pauses, and our advice on banishing "visual ums" that don't involve language but do interfere with your speech.
-"Slips of the tongue" or tangled-up speech are generally noticed more than interruptions in speech -- like "ums" -- unless they become a habit;
- Gesturing reduces your mistakes, but tying down someone's arm increases them; and
- You're more likely to make a verbal slip when you're talking on the phone, or if your hands are in your pockets.
Buy Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean