This post is about methods to accomplish fluency in speech and examines an impediment known as stammering / stuttering.
I have a friend. Let’s call her T.Y. Lee. She had a very unique trend. She could speak perfectly well to an audience… provided that they were younger than her. However, if there were a lot of old men in the room, she would forget her lines, look at the floor & stammer. In most cases, she would be in a total nervous wreck by the time she completed her speech.
After having evaluated several of her speeches, I realized that she was getting nowhere. The self sabotaging trend kept recurring in her life. One day, we had lunch at Old Town White Coffee. As we sat in this side-walk café sipping on some piping hot aromatic coffee, she began telling me her story.
For a moment, there was silence between us. The cool seaside breeze caused a flutter in her hair. Time stood still. Nobody spoke. The silence was uncomfortable. I decided to break it.
At this stage, I told her that what happened between her & her father was not important. How she responded towards the incident was more important. “Choose differently today,” I said. Among some of the tips I shared with her on that fateful day included:-
• I asked her to imagine her audience as a bunch of small children. I asked her to imagine that she was telling these kindergarten children bedtime stories.
• I asked her what the worst case scenario was. If you are not sure what the worst case scenario might be, then break that question down to smaller questions relating to matters that are important to you. Ask yourself, if the worst case scenario comes to pass, are you willing to accept it? Your answer will determine your next course of action.
• I advised her to speak to one person at a time. Regardless of whether there are ten or ten thousand people in the room, if you speak to one person at a time, you will not be overwhelmed by the thousands of eyes staring at you.
Within a few months of diligent work by reading books about positive thinking and mind over matter and by basically observing people who she thought were great speakers, she too managed to overcome the stutter. As a passion, she now helps others who suffer the same impediment. I am happy for her and wish her well.
Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to become a better public speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become. Do purchase my book called Fearless Public Speaking at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover it through your public speaking endeavors.
I wish you well.