Why Do We Step Off Stutterer’s Cliff?
We, as PWS (People Who Stutter), want to defeat stuttering, and we know that in order to do that we must do everything that Lee says in his book. But sometimes, when we are under pressure, we forget what to do because we panic and we end up stepping off Stutterer’s Cliff and appearing as speech-disabled in front of someone else. This can even happen to us even after becoming a Success Story (1 month without having a bad incident), although it shouldn’t, so we must always be vigilant.
So why does this happen? Don’t blame the Crutches. They do work! So, if the Crutches work… Why did this occur? Let’s analyze it.
First of all, you didn’t use the Crutches. Instead, you forced that word. And you lost the battle, Satan Stuttering won. He always wins, unless you move faster than him. Because he’s like a 140kg/310lb professional boxer. But you’re Muhammad Ali. You are ten times faster than him. You can dodge his blows and hit him directly in the ribs, winning the combat by KO. But if you don’t move, you won’t last one single round.
So you must first learn how to do that. You have to begin practicing alone, and step by step, and as soon as you start feeling comfortable using the Crutches, you must use them in slightly more difficult situations. You will very soon notice that when you use them you don’t have to concentrate as much as before, because you have been practicing with them enough to be able to use them automatically. It’s like driving a car: I’m sure that when you drive, you don’t think about when’s the time to step on the clutch, to shift gears, etc.; you simply do it, without thinking. Because you’ve been driving long enough to be able to do it like that. The same happens here. Once you’ve mastered the Crutches, you will be able to use them automatically. Once you’re able to it, and you have to give a public speech or a job presentation in front of your boss and colleagues or face any other stressful situation, you will know what to do. You will have it under control.
But you definitely shouldn’t start from the most difficult situations. Why? Because if you do so, you will surely panic and you will have “an accident”. Because you won’t be ready yet. But if you HAVE TO give a presentation, what can you do? Here’s the solution. Be a determined Speech Cop and use Crutch 11. Being a Speech Cop is like dodging all of Satan Stuttering’s attacks. And Crutch 11 is the way to knock him out.
How do we do it? First of all, you must not allow yourself to stutter. As soon as you feel the fear, the tension in your throat or face, stop talking immediately, and pause for 2 seconds. Once you’ve gotten rid of that tension, start again, using a Crutch this time, like a slightly softer voice, or even a whisper, and talk a bit slower (-5%), and keep it short. By keeping it short I mean speaking less and pausing for 2 counted seconds every 2-5 words. And show confidence when speaking, try to articulate all of your words to make sure you’re not misunderstood. And link all the words in between these pauses. You will agree with me that in movies set in the Middle Ages, this is how the king speaks to his subordinates. And he does it flawlessly!!! Wouldn’t you like to speak like him? Practice it! Make it a habit. You will become a great speaker, you will speak more clearly, and most important, YOU WON’T STUTTER!! Practice it, until you make it a habit until you make it your way of speaking! Start doing it right now!
What are you waiting for???