Before You Begin To Speak …
Take your time. Do not use spontaneous speech. Give yourself time to prepare, do not start to speak just because you perceive your listener is waiting impatiently.
In general, PWS (people who stutter) are about the act of speaking. This leads to a reasonable amount of body tension, especially in the muscles that control the mechanics of breathing and speaking: the diaphragm, the intercostal muscles (between the ribs), the muscles around the vocal chords, and the muscles that operate the articulators ( jaw, tongue & lips). By not speaking spontaneously, by not hurrying into speech, we give ourselves time to relax all these muscles. Consciously exhale fully before you begin.
Give yourself permission not to rush into speaking. Now is the time to take control of your speaking situations. Speak in a calm and collected manner. Be assertive, and put some intonation into your voice.
A pause before speaking gives a person who stutters time to run through good technique, and also time to think about what we are going to say. Be clear and concise with no ums or ahs. Say what you want to say without substituting perceived difficult words with perceived easier words. Stick with the correct words for the situation.
During this pre-speaking process, establish eye contact with the person / people you are about to speak to. This is a good concentration point. It will help empower you and keep you on track for a well-controlled delivery.
Speaking is the act of verbally conveying our thoughts and feelings. Be considerate to your listeners and expect it in return. Respectful behavior should be described by both the speaker and listener.
If you have done all the fluency technique practice that has been recommended, you should be feeling pretty confident with your speech. Having a positive attitude is just one more thing to focus on before you actually speak. Remember, good preparation and much practice is the key to a successful outlet.
Join me on the road to fluency.