NLP techniques for stammering, or stuttering as it is also called, may help you or anyone else suffering from developmental stammering which most commonly starts during childhood before the age of five years.
Do not for one moment think that because you or one you love or care for has a stammer there is anything physically or mentally wrong with you, that you are being punished by some anthropomorphic or unseen god or devil or that you are unworthy in any way.
I am sad to say I have read and heard stutterers, in despair of their situation, proclaiming one or more of these reasons for their plight. None of them are true, so get that belief out of your mind now.
This stammer got me a home in Beverley Hills
and I am not about to screw with it now
If you stammer you
should be greatly encouraged to know that others like you have achieved
eminence in public life and overcome their handicap.
US vice-president Joe Biden is one. Who would have believed that the actor, James Earl Jones – Darth Vader himself – had stuttered?
They range from pop start Gareth Gates, who didn’t overcome his stutter until his great success in a pop singing talent show, to that great British prime minister, Winston Churchill.
The British King George VI (1936-52) had a significant stammer and was thrust into the limelight when his brother David (King Edward VIII) abdicated.
Everyone who saw the film The King’s Speech must have been moved by the way he persevered with years of training under the guidance of an Australian speech therapist and with the loving support of his wife Elizabeth.
competition winner for How I conquered my
fear describes how she overcame her stutter and now speaks publicly all
So there is plenty of inspiration and encouragement for everyone, no matter what age. Read on because there is help at hand.
My friend, Jim, is
now in his mid-70s. He is a stutterer
and has been all his life. He is a
lovely man but lacks confidence and sometimes he copes better than others. He tells of when, as a young man, he was
called into the Army for national service.
Jim was under the command of a Regimental Sergeant Major who also had a stammer but was, initially, completely unaware of Jim’s speech difficulty.
When the Sergeant
Major first addressed Jim in faltering tones and Jim responded in similar
manner, the RSM was incensed because he thought Jim was mimicking, and Jim
came very close to ending up in the guardhouse.
The truth was, however, soon revealed and Jim says from that day onwards the RSM became a caring father figure during his national service.
At his age Jim, who
is a jovial soul, still stutters but doesn’t let it bother him too much. But when I took him to another lawyer’s
office to swear an oath in legal proceedings where I acted on his behalf, Jim asked
if he could do it in a private room because of the stammer.
My legal colleague, of course, readily agreed and, to my astonishment Jim sailed through the oath from beginning to end without so much as a pause.
Once Jim was in that private room, the pressure was off and he was no longer self-conscious.
You will know that
what a stammerer needs is a little understanding and self-confidence. No-one helps by completing partly
started sentences or by mimicking or mocking.
What helps is for the listener to have the patience to wait patiently and listen quietly while the sentence is completed.
To the stutterer, I
am sure it appears that the rest of the world speaks very quickly, fluently and
confidently but that isn’t so. It is a
question of fact and degree.
Most of us stutter or stammer to some extent in some circumstances. There are a few people, like the late Sir Patrick Moore, who talk at an enormous rate, but they are very few and far between.
So first of all,
slow right down. That is good advice for
anyone speaking publicly even if they don’t think they stutter.
Many people – even those well used to speaking in public life – create pauses for themselves with ums and ahs, and that really is just another form of stammering.
If you know you are to speak in situations that you find stressful, take time beforehand to relax thoroughly. Listen to some relaxing music if you can. I mean really relaxing.
Find some suitable meditation music that really chills you and make a habit of playing it. When you feel totally relaxed, anchor that feeling.
If you are not familiar with the concept of NLP anchoring, read about it on this website. The NLP anchor is an indispensable weapon in your armoury.
Now find a quiet spot where you can be
completely undisturbed for a while. Take
a deep breath in through your mouth and let it out slowly through your
Take a second deep breath in exactly the same way and let it all the way out. Close your eyes and imagine yourself talking in the stressful situation.
If you imagine yourself stammering, stuttering, pausing or unable to find the right words, push the mental picture off into the distance until it is really tiny and, as you do so, drain all the colour out of it, and imagine you can turn a knob until it goes completely white and then, when it is a mere speck in the distance, make it explode into the sun.
Now pull the picture back and repeat the exercise until you can no longer see yourself in that way.
instead speaking slowly, confidently and smoothly and the more you speak the
more confident you become. See smiling,
encouraging faces talking back to you.
Make the picture big, bright and colourful. Double the size of it. Hear what you would hear and see what you would see.
Make the picture life size. As you see yourself performing in this way, think of a time in your life when you felt really good, on a high, and feel that way again. When you have that picture and that feeling, anchor it.
These NLP techniques for stammering are starting
points that should get you a long way.
When you go to speak fire off the anchor.
When you have spoken successfully in a stressful situation and feel really good about yourself, anchor that too.
Then next time you start to feel apprehensive, fire off all your anchors and watch the improvement.
If you wish to be really inspired by someone who overcame her stammering and fear of public speaking, read the account of our competition winner, Mya Murphy, in How I conquered my fear.
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