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How to Overcome a Stuttering Problem

By Rebecca Doughty . Updated: March 21, 2019
How to Overcome a Stuttering Problem

Stuttering can be a very frustrating and sometimes embarrassing problem for those who have trouble with it. Unfortunately there is no quick fix for a stutter, and it is a speech impediment that has to be tackled overtime, although many young people do tend to grow out of their stutter as they get older. Whilst some people choose to visit a speech therapist to help with stuttering, there are actually several steps that can be taken to help fight a stuttering problem without having to visit a professional. It may take time and patience, but in this oneHOWTO article we're going to give some tips and advice on how to overcome a stuttering problem.

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Relax and breathe

Relaxing, whilst it may seem difficult, is one of the most important factors of working to overcome a stutter. Whether you are speaking in front of a group of people or just one, the nerves and worry that you might stutter actually increase your chances of stuttering. It's a viscous circle, but focusing on your breathing is essential.

Relax your shoulders, arms, legs and put your head back for a deep breath. Make a buzzing sound with your lips for a minute before you speak, warming up your lips and tongue. Keep breathing regularly, in and out and focus your mind on what you want to say. Breathing techniques can be a great way to calm nerves and helps focus too.

Believe in yourself

Don't beat yourself up over it. Overcoming a stutter is partly psychological, it is often the fear of stuttering that makes it worse.

Think to yourself, it's not the end of the world if you stutter. Often it is more of a big deal to you than to anybody you're speaking to. Instead of feeling negative about it, focus on positive thoughts, tell yourself 'I can do this' - visualize yourself succeeding. Being in the right frame of mind is important, and although you might be nervous, gear yourself up for it. Remind yourself of these things before you speak.

How to Overcome a Stuttering Problem - Believe in yourself

Practice

Of course it is always easier speaking to yourself than in front of others, but practicing can help you build your confidence when overcoming a stutter.

Try speaking to yourself in front of a mirror and pretend it is someone else. It might sound silly but it can be effective. Doing this for 30 minutes a day is great practice. Try saying tongue twisters, such as 'she sells sea shell on the sea shore'. Hearing your voice without the stutter will build confidence for when you're speaking in front of others, you will remember that you can do it.

Reading aloud is also good practice to get you talking without your stutter. Whether you read to yourself or to a friend or family member, it will help you to speak fluently and to practice your regular breathing. Often those who stutter do not know when to take a breathe or forget to breathe so work on this whilst you read. Speaking with rhythm can help with fluent speaking too, in the same way that people often don't stutter whilst singing. Try this method whilst you're reading and see if it works for you.

How to Overcome a Stuttering Problem - Practice

Don't panic

If you do stutter, don't panic. Overcoming a stutter takes time and patience so try not to punish yourself or get annoyed.

Visualize the words before you say them, especially if you're struggling to get a word out without stuttering to help to focus on what you're wanting to say. If you start to stutter, take a breather and start from the beginning. Saying 'blah' and starting a fresh can be effective.

Sometimes making eye contact can be difficult if you are stuttering. When speaking to a group, look towards the back of the room and focus on one point. If it's one to one, make eye contact in small intervals to keep that person at ease but also so you're not putting too much pressure on yourself.

Remember that this is a slow process, it's not how quickly you manage to overcome your stutter that matters, but the fact you are trying and focusing on the goal at the end. You will get there, but in the mean time just feel good about yourself for trying to beat your stutter!

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Overcome a Stuttering Problem, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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1 comment
Malcolm C Smith
I found your article while searching the web. I have had a irregular stutter for most of my 69 years. It comes and goes. I have been in sales for most of my working career. I was a Member of Toastmasters International and my speech improved.
Currently I am experiencing some stress in my work environment which is disturbing my speech.
I would appreciate your advice.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Malcolm
Feeling stressed and stuttering are often directly linked. What we suggest is trying out some breathing exercises to calm your nerves. Additionally, what you can do is slow down while speaking. You can also opt for a rhythm to speak along to, this is known to sometimes help people who stutter. Lastly, if these don’t help you can try speech therapy.

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