Archives for October 2013

My Journey From Having A Stutter To Achieving Fluency

Eradicating a stutter out of your everyday speech is no easy feat. Take it from someone who’s been there on that one. That’s why I’m able to share the real experience I had, and to tell you the joy that you’ll have when you banish that stutter from your speech pattern.

I’m not going to tell you it’s an easy thing to do. Truth is that it’s far from it.

My story is testament to that fact!

You see, my stutter began really early on in life. It might be the same for yourself, or someone you know. It usually is. I’m one of those people who fitted into the usual statistics, of early stutter development at the age of four years old (Research indicates stuttering is often a childhood problem, developing as early as two years old).

For some people, they don’t even recall those years, but for me, it’s an experience I will never forget.
It was the days when I was used to being at home with my mum, cooked dinner in the evenings, sitting on the sofa with dinner tray across my lap, while I ate my dinner.

Good Times!

That was until my mum had to return to work. Life wasn’t so cushy after that. It was time to get into some nervous situations.

One thing I know about myself is that I was fairly nervous around those I didn’t know.

With mum being back at work, I had to be cared for by a friend of hers, of whom I didn’t really know.
Uncomfortable Times!

While she was great, and cooked a meal maybe as close to as good as my mum, the situation was the problem.

It was uncomfortable. While I knew I was safe, I was not in my own home, sitting on that sofa, in front of the TV, dinner plate across my lap.

Things changed fast and I had to adapt.

Something changed that made me feel uncomfortable. The dinner routine changed to everyone sitting around a big table including a friend the same age as myself, along with his parents, brother and sister.

Naturally, sitting around the table, discussions tend to occur. With me being the new kid to the family dinner table I was seemingly centre of attention:

• So Steve…what did you do at school today?
• Who is your favourite teacher?
• What do you like to do?
• Oh, you like TV, what’s your favourite TV show, cartoons?

…And the questions went on.

They were pleasant people, however being someone not good with change; the anxiety set in and soon unleashed the start of a serious speech problem.

That was the first time I recall struggling with my speech. Too much change, too fast, made me feel like a kid with no worries that just went to having the weight of the world of my tiny little shoulders.
I could not cope with change! That lesson, I learned early on in life.

Returning answers to questions, I was hyperventilating, words came out my mouth with seemingly no breaths, at the speed of a freight train, with the result being words stuttered uncontrollably.

Naturally, that raised concerns with the babysitter, and low and behold, my mum was told.

That night, I still remember how she sat with me paying close attention to every word I braved to utter, all the time, never being a problem.

I could speak fluently in my comfort zone, but the next day it’d return to the same stuttering issues at that family’s house.

My mum being continually pressed with concern to get my speech sorted did make an appointment with a speech therapist. My worst fears had been confirmed, the fear that I couldn’t speak perfectly, and that there really was something wrong with me after all.

The therapy sessions began, were repeated, and were of absolute no use to solve or improve the problem.
Well, it did only consist of names of pictures; cat, mouse, house etc.

One word and not practicing complete sentences, and certainly not practicing in the way you’d speak normally. Around people, strangers, uncomfortable situations etc.

The stutter became so much worse that my mum finally caved in, gave her job up to return to caring for me full-time, by the time I started school.

During those early years, I did have an advantage of not having other kids bully me because of the stutter. Thanks to my best friend being the toughest lad in the school. Fortunately, nobody bothered to ridicule me in those early days.

That was comfortable, but what I didn’t know at that time, was that this was to hinder things in the years to come.

Secondary school came, and all of my friends were to go their own separate ways. Starting a new school, meant meeting new people, new teachers, new routines, new everything.


This was it. I was absolutely certain I was up the creek. I’d be meeting people, learning names, and potentially stuttering pronouncing some of them.

That’s exactly what happened, and it continued throughout secondary.

The frustration of it all was at times too much to take especially when attempting to converse.

Whether that was over lunch, in a class group lesson, and especially reading out aloud in the English class, it was like waking up to hell every morning, knowing what the day had in store.

The most miserable years of my life, and it’s what lead me to throw the towel in and quit school at the age of sixteen. Much to the disapproval of family, who so wanted me to go to university with all these high hopes for me. Boom, that was their hopes shattered.

It wasn’t all bad though, I still managed to walk away with seven GCSE’s, all grade and above. I was rather proud of that!

I was rather proud and very happy

Next up, came the challenge of finding a job that didn’t require communication.

My first job was of a filing clerk within an insurance organisation, one which based salaries on a grading system, I started at the grade two salary rate (the highest grade was eight, so I was at the low end).

The company would usually promote from within, and generally, that would happen after six months. For me that was a prolonged three years, because promotion required telephone liaison. Not good for someone with a stutter.

Yet, after three years as a filing clerk, my supervisor confirmed that I was to be promoted, and put me up to pay grade three, with a promotion to the Pensions Department.

Now the real fun began (Not).

Try working in a pension division, having to speak on the telephone with a stutter when you can’t even pronounce the word “pension”.

If you remember the old “penguin” advert, you’ll know what I mean. “P-P-P…Pick up a penguin”. I am taking the “mickey” out of myself here.

The nightmare, which led to further ridicule in the workplace was like being back in secondary school all over again.

It was crunch time, and the decision was made.


This is not how I hoped to live my life.

I will not settle for it.

The determination to achieve fluency

At the age of 22, being frustrated with my speech, my work, relying on friends to order drinks for me to save me the embarrassment, enough was enough.

I was determined this thing could be beaten.

If my life needed anything for me to be happy, I needed fluency!

I set about achieving that.

I stopped my friends ordering for me at the bar and put myself into awkward positions. The stuttering would continue, but I’d begin to learn more about the words that would trip me up.

I’d look for replacement words to use instead. Whenever others spoke, I was so involved in studying how they could speak fluently and tried repeatedly to mimic the actions of others.

I’d sit analysing TV personalities, watching their speech patterns, and practice mimicking them, when finally….

After about six months battling with everything to beat the stutter, I had established the breakthrough that I needed (the techniques that I now call “the speech rules”). Around three months afterwards, it was like second nature.

Fluent speech is achieved.

Subsequently, after leaving the job in the pensions department, I began to show others how to also achieve fluency, on a voluntary basis.

At the time, I didn’t’ even know of careers as a counsellor, and that’s what I began to do three years after voluntary helping those fellow stutterers.

Since those early days, volunteering advice to others, and coaching people to fluency, it led to me being featured in every UK national newspaper, including the front page of the Daily Telegraph, and coverage on the BBC News website.

Not just that I was also interviewed on the RADIO, both local and national, something that to this day is still quite a mesmerising thought, when I think back of the early years, battling my own inner stutter and demons.

From what I can tell you with certainty, is that I know the frustrations of stuttering, and I know it’s psychological as well as being physical. The best part being that I can show you how to turn your speech problems around and speak with fluency.

That’s what I’ve been teaching fellow clients for years, and continue to do so. I absolutely love to see the smiles on the faces of my students when they too achieve the same fluency that I have myself.

It’s life changing stuff to banish your stutter, and finally speak fluently. That’s why I have the passion to drive others to the path of fluent speech and to overcome this form of speech impediment.

I’ve achieved fluency, taught countless others to do the same, and continue to teach other people to achieve the same success.

If you would like to read about the speech courses that I run I welcome you to visit this page of my website: For people who are unable to attend a course in Birmingham I offer a number of self help options and you can read about these on this page:

Please feel free to contact with me any questions you have.

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