At some point as a child, I thought how come that people ride a bike. I mean two wheels - it should fall, right?
It seemed just impossible.
Then I felt that balance on the bike. When you go left and right - and don't fall. I felt like a miracle. Like I learned to fly.
With everything, it's mostly in our mind.
With stuttering, it's also strongly supported by what actually happens, by our everyday experiences. And that becomes an automated pattern.
But the question is, is it possible?
Is it possible not to worry about your speech impediments and just enjoy speaking, emotionally connect with your audience and be present in that moment?
Well, that's a wrong question. The right question is this: do you want it? Do you have a reason why you want it? What is your WHY?
Listen to your heart.
If you really want it, that's enough reason to try.
It's absolutely fine to feel that it's impossible. Because we've proved that over and over again.
I vividly remember that I felt with my entire body and mind it was impossible for me.
Now, let me inspire you a bit.
It is possible.
When I began taking my own therapy, I quickly realized that the prospects of success frightened me much more than failure. So, I'll have to talk to strangers? I'll have to speak in front of an audience? No way. Let me fail, please.
Just remember the right question: do you want it? Do you have a reason why you want it? What is your WHY?
Listen to your heart.
If you really want it, that's enough reason to keep going.
Below is the sequence of steps that we've developed and use inside the Improve Program.
The core element of it is using our hand to synchronize all the processes that go along as we speak. And it's based on the fact that our motor activity and speaking are regulated by the same area of our brain. It was the core piece of the intensive therapy that I took myself.
The Improve Program is the sequence itself containing 3 modules: Enjoy, where we learn to relax as we speak and enjoy speaking; I can, where we realize we can use our hand technique in our real-life situations; and Expand, where we learn to be active and conquer new speaking situations until we build a new automated speaking pattern.
So here it is.
1. Balloon exercise. Relaxing breathing out / saying “ba-ba-ba” / saying a word / saying a phrase
2. Using thumb. Balloon exercise using thumb / saying “ba-ba-ba” / saying “book”
3. Feel each finger. Using 1-5 fingers / relaxing on each finger / saying “I can see you”
4. Get it together. Using 1-5 fingers / saying a piece of speaking in one go / saying “relaxation”
5. Putting stress. Saying “I can see you” / reducing “can” and “you” / making “see” stronger
6. Say anything. Saying anything that comes to your mind / breaking your speaking into short and relevant pieces. If any tension - use thumb (step 2) for the first sound of the phrase first, relax, then do the whole piece making the first sound with a thumb longer and stronger, relaxing on it, launching the whole piece.
7.Video call. Say anything that comes to your mind in a real speaking setting. For the first time, it can be just a couple phrases. You want to make sure that you ask and answer questions breaking your speaking into relevant short pieces and relaxing on the first sound. Video call.
1. 1-8 fingers. Longer pieces using 1-8 fingers / saying “but now I’m recording myself.” Video call.
Breathing and relaxation exercises. As we start saying longer pieces using 1-8 fingers, we realize that we need plenty of air to do that. So, here are the exercises that you want to do before the video calls and just anytime you have a spare moment. They help you break the tension, relax and develop breathing and speaking muscles. "Muscles" both in its physical and figurative meaning.
2. Short speaking. Speaking on a topic / make sure you relax on the first sound on the thumb and in between speaking pieces / up to 1-2 minutes. Video call.
3. Zoom calls with other participants. Just a couple questions and answers / relax on the first sound and in between your speaking pieces.
4. Restaurant play. Ordering your “hard words” from the menu / get on the video call and have fun. Video call.
5. Short phone call. Real-life phone call / what time do they close / do they have this item / short yes - no thing. Video call.
6. Restaurant real. Real-life recording / coffee shop, mall, restaurant / asking for directions / stores.
1. Several sounds on one finger. Saying longer pieces / saying “if I knew I would have started earlier” / “today my friends told me it’s pretty expensive.” Video call.
2. 2-minute speech. We role play a TV show / time pressure / questions from the audience. Video call.
3. Engage your body. 2-minute speaking standing / engage your body, eye-contact, and the other hand for more expressive speaking. Video call.
4. Longer phone call. Real-life phone call conversation / asking about prices, models, features. Video call.
5. Debate on a topic. Additional anxiety and pressure situation. Video call.
6. Expand your land. Speak every time you feel on the fence / open up / share your wins.
If it sounds like something that you want to try, get inside the Improve Program by clicking on the image below.
It's totally free.
See you there!