More than three million Americans stammer. Stuttering occurs normally in children during their speech development years. However, if you’re an adult and you still stammer, then you’ve got to do something about it before your life becomes a total disaster.
In medical parlance, people stutter when their natural flow of speech is hampered by repetitions of syllables, sounds, or words. Some people who stutter find it difficult to start a word when speaking. This speech disorder may be accompanied by symptoms such as shaking of the lips, jaw, or both as well as rapid blinking of the eyes. If left untreated, the condition may cause side effects, which can ruin one’s performance in social situations. People who usually stutter are fearful of speaking in front of many people or even simple interactions such as talking on the phone.
So how do you control your speech condition? Here are the ways:
* Breathe in deeply before you speak. That way, words and sounds will smoothly flow out of your mouth. Also, learn to exhale while you’re speaking. To help yourself relax before you start speaking, you need to learn some breathing or relaxation techniques. Controlled breathing is crucial in treating speech disfluency. Yoga and meditation prove to be useful for that purpose.
* Refrain from pressuring yourself to speak fluently. The more you pressure yourself, the more anxious you become. And anxiety help increase your chances of stammering.
* Before you speak the words, think about them first. Be sure what words you want to say before you blurt them out. Project the words you want to say in your mind so that they come clearly once you speak. To make that a bit easier for you, try to visualize the letters of every word you are going to say.
* Practice pronouncing words by letter. In doing so, you ease up your speech, making it more comfortable for you to say a word without stammering.
* Speak in a slow and relaxed manner. The faster you talk, the harder it will be for you to speak fluently. Try to sing the words to lessen your chance of stammering. Normally, most people don’t stutter when they sing. So sing your words to make yourself sound more pleasant as you speak.
* When speaking in front of an audience, refrain from looking only at one person. Instead, look above the heads of the people in front of you. Shift your focus on an area at the back of the room (or space, if it is an open area).
* Speak loudly. It may seem to be counteractive because the louder you talk, the more people would notice your stutter. But that’s not completely true. Speaking loudly in fact helps you vocalize each sound of your words properly, keeping you from repeating certain syllables or words.
* Practice, practice, practice. If you frequently stutter, avoiding any situation in which you have to talk will not help you in any way. In fact, it will only worsen your condition because you will never learn how to pronounce words smoothly.
There are many ways to control your stammering. Give them a shot now to gain more confidence when you have to talk to somebody.