I attended numerous forms of speech and language therapy from the ages of four and twenty two. I do not want to be overly critical but the fact of the matter is that my stutter gradually became more and more severe as I became older. This therefore could only mean one thing – the therapy could not really be classed as a success for me!
Perhaps it was my fault I used to think to myself. But I would often leave the classes feeling extremely frustrated and asking a question of: “Why doesn’t anyone understand what I am going through?” I was asking this question because the therapists seemed to have no real comprehension of what it was like to have a stutter or how to help people who have a stutter.
I was going there with a real hope that I would improve and that I might even be able to achieve total fluency but I would always leave knowing that yet again this so called specialist would not be able to help me. I basically wanted to speak in the same way that every other fluent person does.
I certainly did not want to continue having the stutter but I also did not want to have to speak in what I considered to be an “abnormal way”. Therefore any form of costal breathing, slowed speech or prolonged speech was not what I was looking for either.
I wanted to be a natural fluent speaker – surely not too much to ask. So how would I go about achieving my goal of attaining complete fluency? Well I decided to focus and to study people who I classed as some of the best speakers – these were people mainly on the television such as one’s who appeared on my favourite programs, politicians, sportsmen and sportswomen.
I started to really observe the way in which these people spoke in comparison to the way that I spoke. They, in my opinion, were excellent speakers, where as I had a faulty speech. I wanted to throw away my faulty speech and I wanted to replace it with a speech using techniques that I have picked up from studying and observing these high quality talkers.
In a nutshell that is exactly what I did. It took me around six months of observation to establish the techniques which I now call the speech rules and these are the techniques that I still teach on the courses today – completely naturally fluent speaking.
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