My name is Chris, I’m 41 and I live in Australia. I have been stuttering as long as I can remember. All my life I have been searching for ways to speak fluently, and I have tried some very well-known speech therapy programs but I won’t mention their names here. Despite this, I didn’t accomplish my goal of fluent speech.
I have always feared stuttering in front of people, speaking to strangers, to groups of people, and so on. You surely have had these fears too. One of the things that have always terrified me has been stuttering in work meetings, conferences or similar. So, I always tried to avoid speaking in those situations, even if I wanted to ask or say something. Now, I still have these fears, but I know they are not going to stay with me for long.
Last summer, while searching again for solutions to stuttering in Google, I stumbled upon Lee’s “Stuttering & Anxiety Self-Cures”. Firstly, I was surprised with how many positive reviews this book had, so I decided to read them and I was amazed with the amount of people who achieved what at that time seemed almost impossible to me: to stop stuttering. Then, I decided to give it a go and I purchased the book.
After that, I kept on searching about Lee Lovett on Google, and I stumbled upon World Stop Stuttering Association. Reading Lee’s book did help me a lot, but most importantly, it gave me hope. I was convinced that I could finally get rid of my stutter and stop worrying about my speech. When I finished reading this book I began to be coached by one of their Certified Coaches, Javier, a PWSS from Spain. The coaching, along with the video courses of WSSA and the rest of the materials helped me understand Lee’s book much better, especially the Crutches. One thing is to read how to use them, and another one is to watch somebody else use them. An image is worth a thousand words, right?
Within almost 4 months of determination, patience and working on my speech every day, and 9 coaching sessions, I have achieved, for the first time in my life, the goal of not appearing speech disabled for at least 4 weeks. The Crutches have been incredibly useful, as these have been the ones who have saved me from getting stuck on words when speaking, but the auto-suggestions and reading aloud deserve some recognition too. Reading aloud made me feel more confident and relaxed, and it made my speech become smoother. About the auto-suggestions, they made everything easier: speaking, using the Crutches….
At this stage I still have work to do, there is still much room for improvement to reach the next level of WSSA’s program – teaching myself to love to speak in all situations. I still have stuttering fears, but fears are not stuttering. While I still do feel the pressure in some situations, but I know how to prevent these fears from becoming stutters. I’ve done it before, and I can definitely do it again. Now my goal is to get rid of these fears and speech anxiety the same way I got rid of my stutter, until I can say that I fear no speaking situation and that I love to speak.
To keep improving my speech, I am going to join the SAM meetings, despite the time difference with Australia, and then, Toastmasters. One of my biggest fears is public speaking, but I am determined to conquer that fear too, and become a great speaker, like many others have already done thanks to the help of Lee Lovett and WSSA.
Chris, 41, Australia, March 2021.