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Some of us have distracting, or even annoying, speech patterns that may make us sound unintelligent or just plain difficult to listen to. We may not even know we have such speaking habits. One of the best ways to discover your speech deficiencies is to ask your friends. Another method is to record yourself speaking. You may not realize you use fillers, such as "um," "like," or "you know." Eliminate such fillers in your speech. If you're at a loss for words, or need to pause to think, sit quietly instead of saying "uhmmmmm" or something equally distracting. Pausing before you speak will make you appear patient, pensive, and,perhaps, even intelligent!