We may not have, um, realised, like, that filler words, you know, had a proper name. But they, um, do. They are known as discourse markers.
Every generation has used them. Today, the spoken word, particularly with younger people, is all too often interjected with 'like'.
The problem, however, is that, you know, when over used, it can, like, make you look stupid.
The use of filler words is habit forming, and like any habit it can be broken.
Record or have someone record you talking - not just the once, but regularly over a short period of time. Listen to how you speak and where these words are used. It is painful, but valuable.
If speaking in public, practice and rehearse.
And finally, consider silent pauses. That too may feel awkward, but the best piece of advice I was ever given with regards speaking is to 'own the silence'.
So, how do you, like, um, stop using verbal fillers that can make you sound, you know, nervous or not so smart? Is there a name for this? Communications experts describe “um,” “aah,” “you know” and similar expressions as discourse markers, interjections or verbal pauses.