I will tell my story first and then give some tips from my side.
I had this problem of stammering right from my childhood, but It didn’t very much matter to me when I was very young. The fact that I had stammering wasn’t in my head back then so I would just go and talk on stage, without taking all this pressure into my mind, till a certain age. Even if I stammered, I used to never see that as some loophole or something, I would just go on.
As I started entering my teens, the whole scenario changed. My confidence levels stooped down and I started feeling very insecure about this fact. It was there stuck in my head that I have a problem of stammering and that pulled me back every time I wanted to go speak on the dais. I started having low self-esteem and insecurities. As a child, I used to participate in elocutions and all such competitions which required me to speak but things changed later, I refrained myself from speaking in front of an audience. If I ever had a seminar or something like that, it used to be something like a nightmare for me. Even people started noticing then and kinda started pointing it out so I started refraining myself from speaking.
When teachers used to ask the names of students interested to give a speech or were asking/discussing something in the class, I wanted to go stand up, give my name and participate, but that fear and insecurity pulled me back always.
The fact that I had stammering is the reason for my inclination towards writing. As I started getting appreciation for my writeup’s, my confidence levels started growing and slowly with efforts, I tried to erase that fact from my head. I would owe it to my close set of family and friends too for sure because I was never looked down upon by them and that encouragement and support from them are very necessary for anyone who is going through this issue to become more confident.
I went to many speech therapy classes, tried out many techniques and now it has reduced to an extent. When I feel very nervous, it does come back sometimes but I try overcoming that and looking beyond that!
In my 9th and 10th grade, I fought with this fear and insecurity of mine and gave two speeches in front of a big audience(One was for my farewell and the other as a part of some programme) and the fact that I finally got the guts to go up on a stage and speak in front of people made me feel very happy and proud of myself!
Efforts will never go in vain, so if there’s anyone who is going through this problem, never lose your hope, overcoming this isn’t impossible at all, you need to just break the ice and go speak.
Here are some tips from my side,
- Never lose your confidence and always believe in yourself.
- Remove the fact that you suffer from this problem from your head. Trust me when you forget about it, it does wonders. There would be nothing stopping you then. Only when you see it as a shortcoming it becomes one so don’t do that.
- I am telling this from my personal experience because when I was a child and not very conscious of this fact, I used to be very confident and go talk on a stage but once I started becoming conscious and started taking it into my head, the problem increased. So, again I put in efforts to remove it from my head and I started becoming confident and overcame that.
- I would highly recommend you to visit a good speech therapist. They will analyse your breathing patterns, the way you speak etc and would give you good suggestions and techniques to overcome every problem.
- If you have to give a speech or something, try practising it in front of the mirror prior. Analyse your speech carefully, look where you are stammering, which words/letters are causing you a problem and figure out where you need to take a pause etc(If u visit a speech therapist, they will tell you many useful techniques like this)
- Be calm and take deep breaths before starting your speech, nervousness will take a toll on it so stay calm always.
- Take the help of your family or friends, try talking about some topic daily in front of them and ask them to listen to you. When you start speaking like that, your confidence levels will increase.
- Even if you stammer in the middle of a speech, it’s okay, take a deep breath and start continuing again. You have to understand that fumbling is very common, even a very good speaker may fumble sometime so it’s completely okay, never feel ashamed, keep the speech or talk going.
If you a parent/friend/family member of someone who has an issue with stammering, I would like to tell you all to always encourage and support them to speak up. Never make fun of them or talk in a way that attacks their confidence or stoops them down. If they are talking to you and stammer in between, don’t cut them in the middle, have patience wait and let them complete. Please listen to them attentively, don’t judge or mock them.
If anyone is stammering while giving a speech or talking with you, please don’t make fun of them. Give them time and let them complete it. You never know how much efforts that person has made to come up and speak. Not only for someone stammering, be it any person who is speaking, always give respect to the speaker, it isn’t an easy thing to come up and speak.
You aren’t alone, many people have overcome this problem of stuttering including me. Famous personalities like Rowan Atkinson, Hrithik Roshan etc have also overcome this. So, keep trying and one day you can.
Lastly, Just Be confident and believe that you can do it. If you think you can do it, nothing is stopping you at all. Never let this pull you back from doing what you want.
Thanks for Reading!