Can a PWS Learn to Speak Fluently Like Everyone Else?
That was what one of the PWS (People Who Stutter) I coach asked me last week. This question surprised me at first, but then I replied to him with another question: “You mean, to speak like Lee Lovett or the rest of the coaches? Without bad incidents? Of course you can!”.
Before I go any further, I am going to do like Socrates used to do before starting any discussion: I am going to start defining fluent speech. We define fluent speech as any way of speaking where there are no bad speech incidents. Bad speech incidents are those where our listener clearly identifies us as speech disabled. Nevertheless, we must know and accept that everyone, including the best speaker in the world, stutters, sometimes. “Wha-What ti-time is it?“, “I-I-I live in Ma-Madrid“. People do this all the time. These are not bad incidents. This is the way everyone talks. And we shouldn’t punish ourselves for these incidents, as long as we didn’t appear speech disabled.
So, going back to the question of my PWS, after my reply, I explained to him that if he continues following our advice, just like he has been doing so far, he will become a PWSS (Person Who Stopped Stuttering).
As we know, we become a PWSS when we haven’t had a bad speech incident in at least four weeks. This means that we have mastered the Crutches and we therefore proven to ourselves that we can avoid having bad incidents. But we will still have fears and stutter threats, but we will know how to avoid them from becoming bad speech incidents. Fears are not stutters.
We’ve been fearing words for too long, so it is normal to continue having fears after posting our Success Story. But if we reject all of these fears with positive affirmations and celebrate every time we say something fluently, these fears will get weaker and weaker and less and less frequent. You’ll begin to enjoy speaking, no matter the situation.
Our speech will continue improving day after day, and after a while, these threats will be very rare and very weak, they will be insignificant. You will crush them effortlessly. Nobody will know that you used to stutter. We can become excellent speakers, just like Lee Lovett.
Afterwards, I asked him, “is this the reply you were looking for?” He seemed satisfied with what I said to him, he smiled and said, “yes”.
So yes, we can be fluent, like the rest of the people. We can even become better speakers than most of them. The Crutches will not only help us beat Stuttering, they improve our speech and make it even better and better.