How I overcame my stammering.

A blog by Abhinav

Hi folks, Stuttering or stammering is not a disease. It is a disorder caused mainly by fear and lack of confidence. Sometimes it is due to nervousness. In most cases it is all about confidence and fear. Once you are down, you are down. It is really hard to bounce back from being down, but I have done that. After every presentation I would feel O my god, what have I done? I have made a mockery of myself in front of a crowd. Frankly, it felt like hell. Then I decided that I had to work on that and needed to get out of that ridiculous situation as soon as possible. I searched the internet on how to cure stuttering. It is a disorder that can be sorted out. In such cases speech therapists are very helpful. But the fear reappears. What if the problem reappears? We must learn to tackle the problem and then learn to hold our nerves in all situations. Once we learn to handle it, we will be different people altogether. Our personalities will have changed. I wrote a mail to a renowned speech therapist. He replied promptly and was ready to help me. It was extremely difficult for me because at that time I was an engineer in a prestigious company and it was embarrassing for me to be seen as a stutterer. But I realized it was my life and I wanted to live it my way. I met him personally on the first day of my therapy. To my surprise I was as fluent as I always wanted to be. However, I was finding it hard to speak or read some long words. I was able to utter words that started with vowels fluently. The most crucial part was that I was speaking really fast which I had never noticed. So my therapist told me to work on it first i.e. on my speaking speed and my pitch too. He asked me to prepare a list of words which I was finding hard to pronounce. And, guys, please make sure you do not try a foreign accent when you speak. It makes your job a little harder. Keep it simple. We decided to have two sittings during a week. I made a long list of words which I had difficulty pronouncing. At the next sitting I saw an improvement in myself. He was motivating me throughout our sitting. More than support it was motivation that I saw. He never hesitated to stop me when I was going too fast. But he kept inspiring me. Guys, slow and steady is a crucial thing if you want to stop stammering or stuttering. Talking to someone on the telephone or speaking to a crowd was a hell of a task for me. At that time I felt my nerves were paralyzed and my confidence was abysmal. But I decided to get over it. During our next set of sittings his focus was on boosting my confidence. I started holding telephone conversations with strangers while seated in front of my therapist. I was nervous. One useful tip was this: If I felt a word was tough to pronounce I had to take a long breath and start again. It worked like magic. Really, it did. Guys, have you seen the Hindi movie Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara? In it there is a bit of dialogue spoken by Hrithik. He says, "Keep breathing…that will make your life simpler." I followed the same technique. Whenever I felt impeded while speaking I would just keep breathing. After 7-8 meetings I was all good, speaking fluently without any hesitation. My conversations and presentations all were going very well. Today as I write this blog I want to emphasize one thing - overcoming stuttering is all about confidence. It is about getting over one's nerves. Stuttering or stammering is not a disease. Work on your confidence and things will get better. Keep breathing.