If you are looking to improve your speaking skills for work or school, or know someone who is, iUmmm by Scott Singer might be able to help. This application was designed to identify speech patterns as well as track your improvement. You can also use it to surreptitiously track the number of times your goofy boss pushes up his glasses, the girl in the front row nods along, or anything else you can think of.
iUmmm has a default list of five phrases that are typically overused: “ummm”, “like”, “ya know”, “uhhh”, and “but.” Maybe you don’t tend to overuse any of these words, but instead want track your use of “totally” or “anyway.” To delete one of the default words and add your own, touching any of the words will bring up a new screen where you can make the necessary changes.
To the left of each word there is a number field used to keep score; tapping it increases the number by one. You can also subtract by one or clear the field altogether by using the icons to the right of the word. Filling out the person and event name fields will create a report that can be saved for future reference or even emailed to another person. iUmmm also has a timer function, so you can find out if you’re running too long or need to add content to lengthen your presentation.
The one minor downside to the app is that it does realistically require another person to keep score; I don’t think I could concentrate on my speech while also counting the use of certain words. Still, I know I would have used this application a lot back in college, particularly during my dreaded oral communication class where I was “umming” all over the place.
This app doesn’t do much that you couldn’t accomplish by making a list on pencil and paper, but the ability to save reports for improvement tracking and the email function make it worth the price if you’re serious about tracking your speech patterns – or letting your co-workers know how many times the CEO said “and such” during your three hour meeting.
iUmmm is compatible with iPhone and iPod touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.