October 17, 2020 at 2:40 pm #27948
Lee told today’s SAM meeting that participants are advised to share their thoughts as a speech practice.
On one hand I’d like to use this great opportunity to talk and share my ideas in a safe space time to time. But on the other hand, I fear of stuttering & blocking and reinforcing my identity in my mind as a PWS, if I stutter in front of many people.
What’s the best approach to use these meetings as a PWS?October 19, 2020 at 9:07 am #27963
Hi Gábor. Lee is right, the SAM meetings are a great place to do that, and I think they are extremely motivating for PWS to hear so many PWSS speak. But, my opinion for cases like yours (PWS), your main goal is to become a PWSS, and as you know, to get there, you need to hear as much fluency coming out of your lips as possible, and as little disfluency as possible. Stuttering is like a fire, and our stutters and blocks are like gasoline. The more bad incidents we have, the more gasoline we’re pouring to the fire. We need that fire to consume itself, until it disappears. That’s why we always recommend to use the chat and write a message if you need to, in order to avoid bad incidents.
You can also try to exaggerate the use of the Crutches, and practice them in the SAM meetings too. In any case, in these meetings we’re all PWS and PWSS. So, whisper to us, use EXTREME pronunciation, insert full stops every few words, use synonyms, (d)rop the (f)irst (l)etter of (y)our (w)ords, we will understand what you say, and we’ll be happy to see you work on your speech 😉
And as I said before, you can always write your ideas.October 28, 2020 at 8:57 pm #28064
Gabor, great question. Nobody is required to speak in the SAM meetings. As Javie said, use the chat function and somebody will read out your comment/question. But, and this is a huge bu! You should ALWAYS push yourself to speak in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. Each time you find that you are becoming more fluent, push yourself another 10% and then another, and then another.
If you raise your hand in a SAM meeting and start speaking and you realize that you are extremely uncomfortable, stop speaking and write in the chat that you no longer want to comment or write the rest of whatever it is you wanted to say.
Very soon, you will be able to speak fluently in the SAM meetings. As soon as you realize that you are capable of using crutches to avoid all potential stutters, you will be able to speak in the SAM meetings no matter how nervous you are.
Just this past Saturday, my heartbeat sped up a bit because I was the host of the SAM meeting. But did I fear that I would stutter? Not even for a second, I do not care how nervous I am, or whatever situation arises, I refuse to stutter. I will use a crutch to avoid a stutter, and you know what the worst-case scenario is? I stop speaking completely. Nobody can force me to stutter. Nobody in the world will ever hear me stutter again.
I want you to say that to yourself every single day, a thousand times a day. This Saturday I want to hear you speak in the meeting, you are doing so well! You are working so hard. Give it a go! Practice, practice, practice your crutches!November 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm #28079
Thanks, I’ve talked a little bit on the last meeting, but only at the beginning when it wasn’t recorded yet.November 2, 2020 at 11:49 am #28097
Great, keep pushing yourself 10% out of your comfort zone every time. Next time, speak when it is recorded, even if it is a quick comment. In a few weeks, you will be so confident that you will be speaking so much in the SAM meetings, you won’t be able to stop yourself.November 7, 2020 at 11:17 pm #28139
Interesting, because talking during an online meeting today was easy for me, unlike talking to someone in real life. Anyway, that was a very positive experience for me. 🙂November 9, 2020 at 11:09 pm #28145
Gabor, this makes me so happy to hear! A couple of weeks ago you told me that you could not speak in the meetings due to fear of stuttering. You spoke absolutely beautifully! I hope to see you this week at the SAM meeting again!!!November 10, 2020 at 9:53 am #28147
Continue like that, Gábor. Step by step, you’re doing great. You’re expanding your comfort zones. You’re proving to yourself that you can do it, that you can speak fluently in situations you would have considered impossible some time ago.November 10, 2020 at 11:46 am #28149
So, should I talk as much as I can during online meetings and over time, my speech will also be better, when I talk to someone in “real” life?November 10, 2020 at 3:27 pm #28152
My suggestion to expand your comfort zones is that speak a bit more (let’s say 10% more) than what you normally would in those situations. So you have to push yourself a bit, and give a 10% more. The next time you will feel more comfortable speaking in that situation, so you will be able to speak a 10% more. So after a while, you will feel as comfortable speaking in the SAM meetings (or elsewhere) as if you were speaking to your family, friends, or with whoever you feel really comfortable speaking to.
But of course, don’t push yourself too much; the last thing we want is to have a bad incident. We have to be a speech cop and be in control of our minds and speech at all times.November 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm #28153
And of course, the more successes you have speaking fluently, the faster the anxiety and fears will disappear, in all situations. Although there might be some situations in which you will feel more pressure. We will have to work harder on those. The Speech Anxiety to Public Speaking book and course offer really good advice on this.November 11, 2020 at 9:21 am #28164
Gabor, your brain cannot tell the difference if it hears fluency during an online meeting/while speaking to yourself/while speaking to a dog/while speaking in front of 100 people. If you are fluent, you are fluent.
When Rafael Nadal practices tennis while he is calm and collected – with his coach, not playing against anyone, not in a tournament, do you think he goes into a tournament and his brain says “Oh well, I have forgotten how to play tennis because I have only practised while calm, now I am in a different situation (playing in a tournament and under pressure) and therefore I have completely forgotten everything I practised”?
No, this does not happen. Rafael Nadal practices and practices all day, every day – while NOT UNDER PRESSURE, so that when he finds himself in a tournament, his brain remembers all the hours of practise that he did with his coach.
If your brain hears fluency, it is irrelevant under what circumstances it hears such fluency, all that matters is that fluency is heard by your brain, thereby forming a new fluency memory, thereby washing out your old stuttering memories. During an online meeting/presentation/at work/speaking to the President – your brain WILL remember all the fluency it heard when you were calm and collected. It will not suddenly forget just because you are now under pressure. I hope this makes sense.
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