How to stop saying um, uh, like and other fillers

Uh, um, so, you know, like. These are filler words that many speakers use, sometimes to begin a speech or conversation.

Want to connect with people, get people to listen and communicate clearly? Drop the fillers.

How to stop using fillers

Ask when

Identify when you are using fillers. Get specific - was it when you were talking on the phone to a friend, or to start off a speech, or during an interview on a podcast when the host asked you a question about your background?  

Ask why

Ask yourself why you used a filler. Did you feel rushed? Were you nervous? Unsure of what to say next? What thoughts (most of the time the thoughts are unrecognized) preceded the use of a filler? Identifying thought patterns behind a habit is one of the keys to changing a habit. If you know what “silent” thoughts are behind the filler, then it’s easier to change. 

Record the fillers

Ask a friend to write down the number of fillers you use during a phone conversation or write them down yourself. You can write on a piece of paper or a notepad app, like so:

Monday, talking to Barry 

//// //// //// ////

Monday, practicing my speech

//// //// //// //// //// ////

Enjoy speaking without the fillers.