How to Easily Remove Filler Words (and Why You Shouldn’t)

A lot of podcasters cringe when they listen to themselves hear filler words like “um,” “like,” and “you know,” too much. The folks at Descript know this and have made it SUPER easy to remove those filler words…but the real question is: should you?

How to Remove Filler Words with Descript

Descript's Remove Filler Words panel

This process is pretty straight forward, as you’ll see in the video:

  1. Add a podcast episode to Descript and make sure it’s transcribed.
  2. You’ll notice filler words, transition words, and repeated words are underlined in blue.
  3. Right click on any of those words and choose “Remove Filler Words”
  4. On the left, all of the filler words will be highlighted. In the search box above the list, you can select and deselect words as well. If you want to keep in the “you knows,” you can!
  5. On the bottom, click “Apply” or “Apply to all” to remove all filler words in one fell swoop.

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Why You Shouldn’t Remove Filler Words

So there’s how to do it. But I’d advise against it. The main reason is this: you will end up with a less natural sounding conversation.

When there are no filler words, it’s usually because someone is reading, or has memorized a script. In normal conversation, we all use filler words. Removing them makes you sound a bit robotic.

Even if you want to remove some, doing this in Descript will take some time. You want to make sure you don’t get any unnatural edits.

Plus, no one is a harsher critic on us than us. So if you’re editing your own episodes, you will likely want to edit more than you should because you’re worried about how you sound. But the truth is, if the content is good, most people won’t care or notice you said “um” too many times.

Finally, the more you podcast, the better you’ll get, so you’ll start to say those filler words less. Relying on a tool is no replacement for getting better at your craft!

Still…Descript makes it really easy for the times you feel you need it.

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