There are lots of words and phrases that we use when speaking that are simply not required and frankly can become quite distracting. The classics of course are the uhm’s and the ah’s. These are sometimes extended by adding “and uhm or so ah”. Other filler words included actually, obviously, you know, etc etc, like and OK then.
When you use too many filler words you appear less credible, less assertive and less confident to the audience. For example if someone asks for your view on a particular strategy at work and your reply was; “ look I think that uhm that it is a good idea and uhm will probably work but uhm we do need to be aware of a couple of uhm risks”.
Now replace those uhm’s with a pause – just silence – some short some longer and notice the difference that the pauses make in the same sentence. The sentence sounds considered, more confident and more credible.
And that is the solution to filler words; simply replace them with a pause. Generally the uhm or the ah is just allowing you time to think and the pause does the exactly same thing but sounds so much better.