Oh, how I wish in my days as a stutterer, I had a stuttering buddy. Stutter away for hours, or even just a few minutes in conversation without head-slapping myself each time I tripped up on a word. Life would’ve been just that bit simpler, if only for five minutes.
Conversations were isolators back then. A tricky word, or sentence, would lead to embarrassment and the just… shutting up. One of the things that have helped many with speech problems is being able to have that friendly support of a good mate. It’s why nearly every stuttering group, which either meets in person, or encourages communication through telephone helps people get better at speaking.
It’s someone to sound off on.
You get to say your piece, to people who understand your frustrations.
It’s the foundations that let you practice your speech. It’s that practice, that just the same as any sport, helps you become a master.
Golfers don’t just become champions overnight. Nor do footballers, tennis players, or even bowlers. They continually practice the sport until they’ve mastered it.
The same applies to speech therapy.
It takes consistent practice. Where some believe the practice can be done alone, it’s actually better to have someone to converse with.
Speaking alone, you can have conversations with yourself, but the reality isn’t there. You aren’t having two-way dialogue and that’s why stuttering buddies help. They converse with you. They throw questions at you when they don’t understand your message, and you’re then forced into the battle of saying something that you haven’t rehearsed.
Rehearsed speeches are great, but it’s not the reality of how you’re going to speak. Sure, if you’re speaking publicly at an event such as a graduation and you know you need to make a statement of some sort, you can rehearse your speech and likely make it through it fluently with enough practice rehearsing what you’re going to say.
Conversations in real life never work like that though.
You’ll always find yourself on the spot and having to think what you’re going to say, which puts you off thinking about how you’re going to say it.
That’s the problem with stuttering.
People with the speech problem find themselves, unwittingly, thinking about two things simultaneously.
What to say and how to say it.
Natural speakers only think about what to say without worrying about how. Even then, just thinking about what to say is enough to make them say ermm. So even naturally gifted speakers can’t speak completely fluent.
When you add a stutter to the situation, the intensity is magnified. The more practice you get though, the easier it becomes. You master the art of speaking by speaking and it’s always going to be better with two-way dialogue.
Find yourself a solid friend you can count on to be patient with you and set some practice time to speak freely, during which time you can practice any type of technique to help you to speak better. With enough practice and continually testing different techniques, you’ll eventually find the one that helps you to speak more fluently.
Just don’t aim for perfection because it’s not there. Aim for better and you’ll do just fine.