Well, um, apparently they can. Fast Company wrote a biting critique of a recent presentation that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg did about some new features added to the popular social networking site. Check this out:
Yes, the occasional “um” is going to creep into your speech, but if you are aware of this verbal tick, then you can at least reduce — if not eliminate — it from your presentations. When the ums, likes and you knows start taking over your speech … you’ll appear as if you don’t know your content and shouldn’t be up on the platform.
Also, listen to how Mark talks in these snippets from his presentation. Do you hear all the questions he asks that aren’t questions? Mark is obviously passionate but could use some public speaking advice.