Communication Skills/stammer

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Question
hey,
my name is zain, i'm 16 years old boy. i live in pakistan.
As far as i remember, i stammer.... about 2 months back my mother took me to a speach-therapist. she said that I dont stammer... i got *dis-fluency.
she said that i can B better.. if i practice certain excercies.
she said
1. think before you speak
2. take time before answering any question
3. if you cannot speak a certain world out loud, try to speak it without any voice
she further instructed me to practice my breathing....
but personally i had no improvement.
i still stop while talking cause i can't speak (get my words out of my mouth)
well would you be able to help me ?
i'll greatly appreciate.
thankx

Answer
Hello Zain,

There is certainly a big difference between a stammer and disfluency. Since the speech therapist seems to think that you have the latter and not the former I'll try to deal with that.  As a Division Governor for Toastmasters International, I have seen many people come to Toastmasters, (if you don't know what this organization is, I suggest you look it up, but briefly it is an organization that teaches people speaking skills) who have this problem.  They speak with many 'ahs' and 'ums' and other sounds that creep into their sentences.  They sometimes repeat words, or stop in the middle of a sentence and start again.

Some of the causes of disfluency is emotional and related to self-image problems that cause a heightened focus on the words spoken such that it affects the fluidity of speech.

One of the things I may suggest that you do, Zain, is to memorize a few paragraphs of text from, say, a story that you like.  At least one minute worth of text.  Take your time to learn it all.  Then practice saying the text that you now know, out loud when you are by yourself.  Since you know the text, your practice will be to say it without using any unnecessary pauses or filler sounds.

This is part of a confidence exercise; because once accomplished you will know that you can in fact speak without disfluency.  Keep in mind, however, that even the best speakers will once in a while give the odd um or ah or pause.  Don't berate yourself for the occasional stammer.  However, you will find that knowing that you can speak without hesitation will give you the confidence to speak more.

Zain, when I was very young, I had to give a small speech (really small, about one minute's worth)  I got stuck, forgot what I was going to say, and felt completely embarrassed.  I promised myself that I would never speak in public again.  For years I walked away from great opportunities that would have made a big difference in my life.  One day I decided that, in spite of my fears, in spite of thinking that I couldn't do it, I started talking in public.  I have now done so for a living and in many countries.

The point I am trying to make, Zain, is that there is nothing wrong with you what soever, and whatever has caused this disfluency, it is not stronger than you. Make a decision to become not just an okay speaker, but a FANTASTIC ONE.  It will change your life, and you wlll look back at this and laugh.

I hope this helps you and please rate this comment.

Phil L. Méthot

Communication Skills

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Phil L. Méthot

Expertise

For individuals wanting help with public speaking, I can answer most questions dealing with skills, memory,and body language. Essentially the tools required to become a great speaker. For individuals having trouble communicating one on one, or getting their voice heard, or their message across, I can help you with that too. Listening is an important part of communication, so we can work on improving your listening skills as well. If you feel you are not being understood, that is a deeper issue, but we can start here to steer you in the right direction

Experience

I have successfully worked with corporations as a motivational management consultant across Canada. I have twice been President of a Toastmasters group, as an Advanced Toastmaster Gold. I wrote the multimedia ebook: "10 Steps to Becoming A Great Public Speaker." My book "Through the Door!" :A Journey to the Self, dealt with self-image and Will Power. Self Image plays a key role in our ability to communicate and listen effectively.

Organizations
Toastmasters - Currently President of Pointe-Claire Toastmasters (club 9750)

Publications
Book: "Through the Door!" :A Journey to the Self by Phil L. Méthot Book: The Weight is Over - A revolution in Thin Thinking by Phil L. Méthot Multimedia Book: 10 Steps to Becoming A Great Public speaker by Phil L. Méthot Articles in SelfGrowth.com, http://www.uncommonforum.com/

Education/Credentials
Canadian Training and Development Group, success Motivation International

Awards and Honors
Three times recipient of the Presidents club award through the Canadian Training and Development Group and Success Motivation International.

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