Archives for July 2014

How A Former Stutterer Reclaimed His Name

I remember the days when I lived in Kings Norton in Birmingham, going out clubbing, getting the taxi back, and asking to be taken to Stirchley!

Two miles away from my destination in Kings Norton; giving the driver instructions to:

• Just go a bit further up here

• Take a turn here

• Just down the road a little here

And that carried on for two miles, until we finally arrived in Kings Norton.

I had the occasional cabbie tell me we were in Kings Norton and not Stirchley, but not every time. Some drivers must’ve assumed I was just downright weird.

Do you know what though?

I couldn’t have cared less what they thought about me!

The only concern I had was to avoid stuttering at all costs.

If that meant a two mile trip under weird conditions, then so be it.

The stutter was kept at bay.

As far as saying my name was concerned, I could.

Not everyone can say their own name without a stutter breaking their stride

Imagine the distress of having a name you cannot pronounce. For me, I was able to say my name (Steve Hill if you don’t know), without any problems.

I was comfortable and confident whenever I was asked what my name was. Introducing people was different though.

That was terrifying!

I can only imagine the stress levels caused by not being able to say your name, without tripping up.

Stuttering stress!

The full extent of just how dramatic a stutter can affect someone’s life unfolded at the end of a week’s training I was providing down in Brixham, Devon a few years back.

With the permission of my client, and now very good friend, I’m able to share his story with you here today.

My first introduction was a letter signed off from Dave.

Dave attended the training workshop for a week. Throughout that full week, I knew him as Dave.

Come the Friday as the course was wrapping up, Dave had just one last question to put to me.

Over comes Dave to ask…

Steve: Quick question – Take a guess at what my name is?

Not knowing where this was heading, I’m scratching my head, eyebrows furling, thinking I’d best put his mind at ease and reassure Dave, that his name really was Dave!

Well, your name’s Dave, Dave?

He turned to me and said:

“No Steve, My name’s Mike.”

Completely bewildered by this stage, Mike continued onto explain a truly challenging story about how his stutter had influenced the way he lived his life.

Mike was a former stutterer who could not say his name.

At one point in his life, he relocated to a completely new part of the country for work; a new area where nobody knew him.

There was the opportunity.

With the amount of times he knew he’d be asked his name, he decided he would take a new name.

When asked what is your name? He introduced himself as Dave. No stuttering so it was easier to just say Dave.

Mike, aka Dave now speaks fluently but still he goes by the name of Dave, because that’s the name everyone came to know him as.

Chances are you’ve not went to the trouble of re-inventing yourself with a phantom name just to avoid the stutter.

Whether it’s your own name, introducing other people, or like me adding an extra two miles to every taxi ride home, just to avoid the stutter when saying a place name… it can be corrected when you apply the techniques to achieve fluency.

The techniques I refer to as the Speech Rules.

Rule your speech, and lay claim to your name and everyone else’s name you meet without tripping over words.

Steve Hill

Stuttering Therapy Centre

0121 453 9208 / 07967 549 070

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at