Chapter 13

Conquering Hesitation and Stuttering

In This Chapter

arrow Tackling your stop reflex

arrow Addressing stuttering’s emotional components

arrow Following through with sound

arrow Changing your thinking and bolstering fluency

I n 2010, the popular and critical response to the film The King’s Speech brought stuttering into the public gaze. (See the sidebar ‘Stuttering – a king’s story’.)

If you stutter – or stammer as people in the UK more frequently call it – you know what a painful and difficult condition it is. I devote a whole chapter to stuttering because the condition causes a high degree of anxiety and embarrassment, and yet has often been misunderstood as a purely physical voice production problem. In reality, stuttering is likely to involve the stutterer’s beliefs, perceptions and intentions as much as his or her physical responses. To become fluent, you need to address the problem on all these levels, as I explain in later sections.

This chapter addresses the full range of hesitations from an occasional stumble to a full-blown stutter. Whatever the degree of hesitation, you can do a lot ...

Get Voice and Speaking Skills For Dummies now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.