Um this is an um post about um battling “ums” by Juche Jackson

No matter how confident we feel with speaking to a large audience there are always bumps in the road we will face. A lot of those times we don’t even realize the challenges when we are speaking, however they impact the effectiveness of whatever we are trying to deliver to the audience tremendously. The bump in the road that we all struggle with is described as the “um”. What is an “um”? Um is something we say as a filler word. It is used as a way to work on saying our next big thought basically like a computer buffering music. But instead of a computer it’s your brain and instead of music it’s your words.

Do not worry though there is a way to fix this. Throughout my troubles with filler words I always found it useful to build myself a rough script. It was never anything heavily structured; just a script made up of bullet points on things to say. Therefore, by having my points in front of me on a screen I did not have to think about my next idea. Another method I used was to take shorts breaks then speak on my next idea. These methods helped my speaking skills tremendously along with increasing the quality of my podcasts and I’m sure they will do the same for anyone else.

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Keep Learning – Sober or Not!

I heard you wanted to start a podcast?

Well, I’ll tell you what. I had no intention of every creating a podcast. But I’m so glad that I gave it a shot and I’m sure you’ll be happy you did, too.

The cool thing about creating a podcast is that the podcast world is literally your oyster. Open to all of your ideas, thoughts, feelings, hobbies, and interests. It can be public, private, or a mix between the two. Don’t let your dreams be dreams.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when starting your first podcast project is to laugh at yourself and incorporate your mistakes into each episode. My team and I created a really fun podcast this semester and it relied heavily on our little mistakes, giggles, um’s and slurs. By embracing your weird side and being easy on yourself (nobody was born a perfect podcaster!), it will open many doors for humor and authenticity.

Tackling your first podcast can be daunting. Walking into a forest in the middle of the night can also be daunting.

I recommend the buddy system.

You may think you’re macho and you can handle anything thrown your way. But so did every person who ever died in a horror movie alone in the woods. So grab some people (friends or strangers) to join you in this adventure. Without the help of my partners, Tom and Dylan, there’s a good chance I’d have given up.

BONUS: I had no idea who Tom and Dylan were before we started podcasting together, and now we’re all really good friends. Which is cute and fun. Get yourself some groupies like Dylan and Tom – you will not regret it.

Pick something you enjoy. The three of us enjoy talking and drinking, so we created Drunk History of the World. The premise of our podcast was to tell our listeners about a historical event…while getting wasted.

If it weren’t for this class, I wouldn’t have had any motivation to try and connect to other students on campus because I commute over an hour to get here. Fun, informative, and relatively stress-free was the perfect way to end my Tuesdays and Thursdays and I’m grateful I went against my academic adviser’s instructions in taking Digital Journalism

Below you can find the link to our SoundCloud and listen to our podcasts – which are extremely hilarious. (Not to toot my own horn….but sometimes the melody is so sweet!)

And if you were inspired by this podcast, podcaster, or podcasting advice: I conveniently gave you your own drinking game. Take a drink each time I said “podcast” in this blog post!

Fair well my fellow creators! And like Dylan said once ALWAYS says, “Keep learning, sober or not!”

Molly Gunson 


How to Maintain the Conversation

Creating good conversation comes with creating good questions, which ultimately comes from having an open mind. The way I like to see it, is if you are able to hold a conversation with yourself in your mind, you’re more than capable of holding a conversation with another individual. As cognitive thinkers, which most people are, we tend to think about things way too much (or the complete opposite and I’m just spit ballin’ over here) . When delivering a podcast, you want alllllllll of those thoughts in your head on whatever topic you may be talking about to get answered. This is where you need to plan strategically but also from the point of view of the interviewee.

It is not going to be too hard to figure out which interviewee will be the one to give you one word answers, it’s solely based off the first reaction to you asking them if you can interview them. Some people are all about it (these people aren’t the problem), it’s those that feel reserved or hesitate to take action because they do not know what the hell they’re going to say.

The concept of keeping a conversation may be easy from just looking at the terms that make up the sentence. Just Keep Talking, it’s as simple as that. When there is a topic that is dying out, it’s your job as the interviewer to transition the conversation smoothly from one topic to another. Or juts completely change tracks and stop the interviewee right then and there. It takes one voice to keep a podcast going and I can tell you it isn’t going to come from the interviewee.

No matter what the topic is, it is important to stay confident and calm while maintaining a sense of credibility that you know what you’re doing. It is important to always keep the conversation going, because you never know what bits and pieces you can put together to make something that is truly great.