So, how do you, like, um, stop using verbal fillers that can make you sound, you know, nervous or not so smart?
Communications experts describe “um,” “aah,” “you know” and similar expressions as discourse markers, interjections or verbal pauses.
They often occur when we are trying to think of the next thing we are going to say…
I struggle to reduce my use of fillers and discourse makers when recording podcasts, but it’s very difficult. You’ll find that professionals on the radio or TV don’t use these words, but it takes a lot of attention to be able to eliminate them.
Interestingly, when I taught English as a foreign language back in the day in France, it was quite odd to hear French speakers use French fillers (euh…) in English. I tried to get them to learn to use English fillers, with mixed results.