Archives for October 2014

Never Let Your Stutter Silence Your Inner Voice

Your voice is part of your identity. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to be heard, you must use your voice. That presents a problem in society because for people with a stutter, there are far too many treading the line between ableism and living with a disability.

The feeling that when you’re speaking with a stutter it is viewed as being disabled, when you know yourself that you’re just as able bodied as the person you’re speaking with.

The illusion that’s so often created is that people listening to you are hearing their inner voice wishing you would just “spit it out”. That’s something some people may be thinking, but more often than not, it’s a far cry from it.

People listen to what you have to say. Sure it’s not the best of traits when you’re trying to tell a joke and the punch line doesn’t quite accentuate the joke, but that’s not what holds you back.

What holds people back is conforming to their own beliefs of society’s expectations; that a stutter is not a disability and it’s something that is fixable. Does that make you lazy for not “getting over it” by now? Far from it, the people you’re surrounded by every day appreciate you for being you, never because you’re the odd kid with the stutter. It’s the same for every person whether they stutter or not.

Listen to Will Smith and you’ll hear personality traits to his voice.

How about a presidential speech from Abraham Lincoln or, the controversial speech by Joseph Goebbels to a select audience in Berlin in 1943?

No single voice is ever the same. They all have pitches, ups and downs, and when spoken, it is never done in a flat tone or a sing-songy voice pattern in order to mask a stutter, or any other speech problem. Any speech that’s done outside of a natural conversation, the person is likely to have rehearsed that speech numerous times, before being recorded.

You say what you want to say, and people listen. Doesn’t matter how you say it.

The point is that despite how you may feel about society and how people may or may not be judging you based on your speech imperfections… it’s that uncertainty that is getting in your way of fluency.

The word fluency being used there lightly, because there are so many people who have had a stutter and gone onto achieve fluent speech, and then lay claim to speech excellence. What happens then is that when they are faced with a public speech, they are directly in the spotlight, all ears perked up to hear what you have to say.

The social anxiety creeps up, and failure can slam hard when people are not prepared for it.

social anxiety and stuttering

A key element towards achieving fluent speech is being accepting of imperfections. The more accepting you are, the better you’ll be able to overcome challenges in the face of adversity.

Self-esteem booster from the experts

Jeremy Seinfield (Comedian) – “With time and practice, you learn how to open, how to sustain, how to pace…”

Even actors stumble with speech, despite having no speech barriers.

Winston Churchill – Did you know that for every one minute of a speech made, one hour was spent rehearsing?

That’s what you call practice to perfection.

What you may not know about Winston Churchill, as it wasn’t distinguishable in any of his speeches is that through that hard practice and devotion to practicing speaking, he was able to overcome a lisp.

Perfectionism is something many of us strive for, yet it’s not the only solution. Fluent speech will happen when you’re accepting of your true voice, and able to voice your opinions with emotional empowerment.

Believe in yourself and push forward without regrets. Let people hear what you have to say and let them hear the emotional connection you have to whatever message you want to get across.

When you’re in a job interview, speak with the passion you have to get that job. Don’t bury your voice in fear of tripping up over a word. Give enthusiasm to the words flowing from your mouth, and if you trip up… you trip up. It’s not the end of the world. Take a breath and go again and you’ll always get there in the end.