Speak Like Royalty: The Power of Talk Less (Crutch #11)

In the context of stuttering, a “crutch” is a term used to describe various techniques or strategies that people who stutter (PWS) use to help manage and mitigate their stuttering. Crutches are not a “cure” for stuttering but rather a set of tools that individuals can employ to make their speech more fluent and less challenging. These crutches can provide temporary relief from stuttering and help boost a person’s confidence in their ability to communicate effectively.

Stuttering is a complex and frustrating challenge that many individuals face. Lee G. Lovett’s groundbreaking guide, “How to Stop Stuttering & Love Speaking,” provides valuable insights and a comprehensive set of tools, including Crutch #11, which emphasizes the power of speaking like a king and talking less when all else fails.

To truly conquer stuttering, one must hear fluency and avoid hearing dysfluency when speaking. However, when you find yourself in a high-pressure speaking situation, and it feels like all your other crutches and techniques have deserted you, what can you do? Panic is not the answer; it sends you into a speech-free fall. This is where Crutch #11, “Speaking like a King,” comes into play.

Crutch #11 in a Nutshell

Crutch #11, also known as “Speaking like a King,” is a valuable technique that combines several components to help you maintain fluent speech, even when you’re struggling. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements of Crutch #11:

1. Stop Talking for a Count of Two: When you’re faced with a challenging speaking situation and are about to stutter or block, simply pause for a count of two (1000-1, 1000-2). This is a failsafe way to avoid relapses.

2. Talk Less and in Increments: Decide to speak less and in short bursts of 1-7 words or so. By breaking your speech into smaller units, you create an opportunity for fluency.

3. Insert a Stop After Each Burst: Insert a one-, two-, or three-count STOP after each burst of words. This pause provides you with a moment to regroup and continue speaking fluently.

4. Speak Softly: Lower the volume of your speech. Speaking softly can have a calming effect and help you maintain a steady flow of speech.

5. Speak Slowly: Slowing down your speech can reduce the chances of stuttering or blocking. A measured pace allows you to maintain control over your words.

6. Use Extreme Pronunciation: Experiment with extreme pronunciation for added clarity and interest in your speech. It can also divert your focus from stuttering to the content of your message.

7. Smile While Speaking: Maintain a pleasant expression and smile while speaking. This not only projects confidence but also eases the tension during a conversation.

8. Insert Full Stops Every 1-7 Words: Introduce full stops between every 1-7 words in your speech. This technique helps break your speech into manageable chunks.

The Power of Writing

Crutch #11 may seem extreme, especially the idea of writing when faced with a speaking block. However, Lovett stresses that it’s a temporary measure. Writing can provide an immediate escape from speech blocks and stuttering. Instead of feeling embarrassed about writing, remember that it’s a better alternative than painful speech blocks. Listeners will prefer your writing over struggling speech. Writing serves as a bridge to maintain communication when speech fails.

Singing and Laughing: Unconventional Solutions

Crutch #11 also presents an alternative: “SINGING-LAUGHING.” This technique is challenging to describe in writing but can be observed in coaching videos. Singing and laughing can be effective ways to avoid appearing speech-disabled. In combination, these techniques have brought fluency to some of the most severe stutterers. Don’t dismiss these techniques; they can be more beneficial than anything else in the book.

Gradual Progress to Fluent Speech

Crutch #11 has proven effective for many severe stutterers who are gradually transitioning from writing to speaking. While they may start with writing, over time, they write less and talk more. An example of this effective transition is discussed in a coaching session you can watch here.

Additionally, some individuals are using singing and laughter to find fluency, as demonstrated by a college student in Norway here.

Talking Less: A Wise Approach

Avoidance is often discouraged as a long-term strategy for individuals who stutter. However, there are moments when talking less is a wise approach. It’s not about quitting or avoiding situations altogether, but rather a way to give yourself a brief break when you’re feeling the heat of a challenging conversation. By speaking less and asking questions, you can keep the pressure at bay and maintain a better relationship with your listeners. It’s like a game of ping pong, where you aim to keep the “speech ball” on the other side of the net. Gradually, you can increase your speech in pressured situations as your fluency improves.

Crutch #11: A Path to Freedom

Crutch #11 is the tool that has helped many individuals with stuttering to overcome their challenges. When all other techniques fail, it provides a reliable and effective way to maintain fluent speech. It may initially seem extreme, but the temporary use of these techniques can pave the way for lifelong fluency.

The key to success is practicing these methods until they become second nature, allowing you to face the world with the confidence and fluency you’ve always desired. With Crutch #11, you can break free from the shackles of stuttering and unlock your full potential as a communicator. The warm sun of fluency awaits you, and you can reach it by embracing the power of speaking like a king and talking less when needed. Remember, talk less now to talk fluently forever.

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