Top 17 stuttering techniques

In this blog post and video, we'll cover 17 stuttering techniques or strategies from the mainstream ones to not so traditional ones. I'll show and demonstrate them, and we'll try to understand each of them so that you could see what could be useful, helpful and beneficial for you.

And if you are using a technique that is not on the list, please leave a comment and let me know!

The VIDEO: Top 17 stuttering techniques

Top 17 stuttering techniques

https://youtu.be/B7cK7tOUacw

This is an overview for you to get the idea behind each of the techniques, and get the sense of them. I'll be showing and explaining, but if you want to go deeper into a particular technique, I'll give you the links below to more in-depth videos.

Here's the playlist of all the videos mentioned in this blog post.

I want to make it clear that you don’t have to use all seventeen techniques. It’s not like speech therapy should consist of 17 stuttering techniques. In fact, I have used, as a person who stutters, only one technique, the last one on the list.

So, buckle up, let's get started. 

1. Easy onset

The main idea is to start your speaking with relaxed muscles and to have a little slow stretch at the beginning. This little slow stretch of the sounds, which is basically a prolongation, relates to both consonants and vowels. For consonants, the easy onset aims to release tension. For vowels, the idea is to give our brain and speech mechanism a space to align, feel the confidence in being in that sound.

To demonstrate the techniques, I'll be playing with the same phrase: "Where do you live?" So, as an easy onset, we stretch the first sound "w" in "where" sliding to the next vowel sound. 

How: Easy onset & light contacts by Peachie Speechie

Who uses it? It's widely used by speech therapists that's why I put it first. 

The problem is how to bring it to real interaction? 

I often hear from people who stutter stories where a speech therapist is showing the technique, a person who stutters says the word or phrase fluently and the speech pathologist gets excited and happy: "You said it! You see? You can do it!"

And the person who stutters thinks like, "I know I can do it in principle! I can pronounce every sound and every word. But when I pick up the phone or get on stage..." The problem persists.  

Megan Washington, a singer, brings up another problem with smooth speech in her TEDx talk: she feels like a fake when she uses this technique. Why? Easy onset is an easy prolongation of a a sound. It somewhat resembles singing. Yet, she is a singer! And she doesn't stutter when singing. And singing doesn't feel like a fake. Just the opposite, it gives her a chance to fully express herself. Then why does easy onset feels weird and unnatural? 

Maybe because it is to some extent. With singing you have an intention to sign and this intention applies to the whole song. You have a different rhythmical structure and longer stronger vowel sounds. This rhythmical structure creates beauty of the song. With an easy onset, it just sounds unnatural. It's not a strong beat, it's not expression, it's not assertiveness, it's weak (easy) and it sounds foreign to the speaking structure. 

So, if you want to go deeper into easy onsets - check out a great video by Peachie Speechie, if you want to go deeper into singing as a speaking exercise for stuttering - I have a separate video on that, you can find the link below. 

2. Light contacts

The main idea is to start speaking with relaxed articulators, we want to reduce tension in the vocal cords and articulatory muscles this way. 

As we say our phrase "Where do you live?" we want to try to feel how "w" could be tense and how it can be light and relaxed. 

How: Easy onset & light contacts by Peachie Speechie

Who uses it? Light contacts are widely used by speech language pathologists. Easy onsets and light contacts usually go together and are called "fluency shaping techniques." These fluency techniques are designed to promote smoother speech production and reduce the likelihood of stuttering.

The problem is still how to bring it to real interaction? And here preparatory sets come into play.

A preparatory set often involves using various fluency shaping techniques, speaking exercises, visualization, etc. The purpose of a preparatory set is to create a feeling of fluency and control before speaking. The idea is to establish a positive speaking experience, reduce anxiety, increase confidence, and reduce the likelihood of stuttering moments going forward.

It totally makes sense, on the one hand. On the other hand, there's no interaction in this preparation.

In the nutshell, preparatory sets have the same function as reading out loud, talking to the mirror, or rehearsing your presentation. We're trying to catch fluency feeling. We're trying to prove to ourselves that "I can say it fluently." Preparatory sets, reading out loud, talking to the mirror - these are all great, for sure! Yet, people who stutter know that we can spend hours practicing and preparing ourselves for fluent and smooth speech and then get super tense in a real life setting feeling anxiety and getting stuck again. 

Coming back to the light contacts, how do we take this good feeling from the practice room to real life settings? That's where the last technique on the list can really help. It helps us feel that speaking itself (in any situation) can and should be the source of relaxation. No need to spend hours and hours in preparatory sets in this case hoping that we feel the same in stressful environments. I promised a happy ending in this story, so stay to the end.

If you want to go deeper into light contacts - check out the same video by Peachie Speechie, if you want to go deeper into relaxation exercises for stuttering, I have a separate video on that, you can find the link below.  

3. Pull outs

With fluency shaping techniques we're trying to prevent stuttering. Yet, what do we do if it still happens? 

Let's be honest and let's be real with expectations. You can practice fluency shaping techniques, reading out loud, talking to the mirror for hours but still then stutter.

Oftentimes other people say to people who stutter, "Relax! Breathe! Slow down!" People who stutter often also say that to themselves, "Come on! Calm down! You can do it!" Slowing down, relaxing, calming down - they seem to be logical, reasonable and actually easy to do. But to demand that from yourself is the same as if we said "Just don't stutter! Come on! You can do it!" It's unfair to demand from yourself and expect from yourself that you'll do the same in time pressure settings as in the comfort of the therapy room.

We don't want to freak out "It didn't work!" We don't want to feel panic: 😨! We don't want to be hard on ourselves. 

That's where stuttering modification techniques come into play. With stuttering modification techniques, we want to change, modify stuttering, and we're trying to take ownership of stuttering and to take control over it by reshaping it and stuttering on your terms

The main idea is to catch yourself stuttering, take notice of it, become aware of it and gradually release tension and pull yourself out of stuttering.

As we say our phrase "Where do you live?" let's stutter on "w" and then gradually pull ourselves out of that stuttering by first observing that stuttering, noticing the tension and easing out, sliding out by releasing that tension.

Instead of continuing to push through it with force we pull ourselves gently from it. We basically apply easy onset and light contacts after stuttering already happened or rather is still happening. 

How: Pull-outs by Brown Cub Speech Therapy

Here's another great video demonstrating pullouts

And here's one more by Peachie Speechie

Who uses it? It's widely used by speech therapists.

The problem is the same: how to actually implement it? It takes quite an intentional effort. If I stutter often I need to do pull outs each time and it ruins the natural spontaneity that we want to have in our speaking. 

4. Cancellation

The main idea is to repeat the word I stuttered on using fluency shaping techniques or just trying to say it with less tension. We want to feel we're not afraid of stuttering, we're not running away from it, we're not afraid to repeat the word. Yes, we might stutter again, but we try at least to do it easier. 

As we play with our phrase "Where do you live?" let's stutter on "w" in the phrase, finish the phrase, and then say it again using easy onset or light contacts.

How: Cancellations by Scott Yaruss from Stuttering Therapy Resources

Here's another video demonstrating cancellations

And here's one more by Peachie Speechie

Who uses it? It's widely used by speech therapists. 

The problem is that I still might stutter saying the word again. It's easier said than done to relax at that moment when I already stuttered and maybe already got tense. 

Another problem is that the moment might be already gone, a person might have already responded to my phrase (a person might have already answered my question about where he/she lives). Repeating my word or phrase in this situation instead of continuing interacting might be irrelevant.  

So, we've covered fluency shaping and preparatory sets (that's what goes before speaking interaction and at the moment of initiating it), pull-outs (what we can do at the moment of stuttering), and cancellations (what we can do after stuttering happened). These are the main stuttering techniques or strategies used by mainstream traditional speech therapy. 

Some people say that they are thankful to speech therapy as they became more aware of how stuttering works and what we can do about it. They became more confident.  But they still stutter. Some say that they just got tired of trying to use the techniques and stopped their daily practicing. And they also stutter pretty much the same way. 

A reasonable expectation after doing fluency shaping and stuttering modification strategies is that you still are going to stutter. Maybe a little easier. Maybe with more awareness. 

But we don't stop there, let's move on. 

5. Breathing techniques

The main idea is that at the stuttering moment people who stutter tend to get tense and lock the airflow, especially in a block. In repetitions and prolongations not so much, but we can argue that these are just smaller blocks. By deliberately breathing in and speaking on the exhale we want to restore the natural airflow cycle. 

As we play with our phrase, it could look like intensely breathing in and then saying "Where do you live" on the exhale. 

And there's an argument about whether it should be belly breathing, coastal breathing, yoga breathing or some other type of magic breathing. Belly breathing is considered to be good for signing and speaking. It's an exercise. When you intentionally and vigorously inhale right before saying a phrase it becomes a technique. 

How: Belly breathing by County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Belly breathing for singing by EricArceneaux

McGuire program breathing

Starfish course breathing

Del Ferro course breathing

Who uses it? Various stuttering programs like McGuire, Starfish, Del Ferro and others. It can be used in speech therapy as well. You might recognise McGuire and Starfish graduates by this exuberant inhale before saying a phrase. They call it coastal breathing.

The problem is still to remember to do it, to do it consistently, and to be willing to speak differently. Some might argue that such vigorous inhaling sounds and looks weird.

Yet, 90% of stuttering is not the speech impediments, but how we feel about it. Being able to deal with the negative emotions about stuttering and conquer the fear of speaking interaction is way more important than the technique itself. By making such an obvious and exuberant inhale you're sending a very powerful signal to your brain and to your body. It's not just a conceptual "It's OK to stutter", awareness, taking ownership, etc. It's very straightforward embracing the difference.

So, we can say it's a problem, but at the same time, that's exactly what can make it even more powerful than traditional fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques. 

6. Passive airflow technique

The main idea is very close to breathing techniques but the focus here goes not to the inhale, but to the exhale. 

As we play with our phrase, we would start exhaling gently and then on that exhale we would say "Where do you live?" It might look like I'm doing nothing special, but in fact it takes quite some concentration and awareness. 

I didn't mention it as a problem for breathing techniques, but what can happen to people who stutter is that we take a breath and freeze on the top of that inhalation. The main purpose of breathing exercises and techniques is not to inhale, but to normalize breathing so that we get to an easy exhale in fact. So, the idea to exhale gently, not forcefully and speak on that exhale makes total sense. When you've already started exhaling, it's way easier to speak and way harder to stutter. 

How: Passive airflow technique explained and demonstrated by Peter Louw 

Here's another video demonstrating the passive airflow technique

Who uses it? I've heard it from Peter Louw. It can also be used by speech therapists as part of speech therapy. 

The problem is that it takes quite some concentration and awareness. 

This problem of transferring a technique from the comfort of a therapy room to the time pressure and stress of real life interactions relates pretty much to every technique on the list. 🙂 Our brain wants to be present and live in the speaking interaction. That's where it is supposed to be at that moment. Not thinking about techniques. And that's where the last technique on the list stands out, and I'll explain what's so different about it. 

7. Jump

The main idea is to skip the sound that we are getting stuck on. It's a stuttering modification technique, but compared to pull outs we don't pull ourselves from the stutter, we just drop the sound we stutter on and move on to the next sound. And just the opposite of cancellation (where we come back and say the word where we had a stutter again) we don't come back to it. We jump over the "hard" sound by not pronouncing it at all. 

As we play with the phrase, we could get stuck on "W" in "where" and just drop it continuing to the next vowel sound.

How: Jump technique by Paul Brocklehurst

Who uses it? I've heard it from Paul Brocklehurst.

The problem is that sometimes people might not understand you (that's what Paul Brocklehurst mentions as a problem). And it this case we need to say the phrase again trying to say it with more ease. 

On the one hand, jump might seem like avoidance and running away from stuttering. On the other hand, what I like here is that we come closer to the topic of the role we want to give to the "hard sounds." Especially, the consonants. 

 What I do with my students for example, is I ask them to put their mouth to the "w" position and then say "air" like in "where." Then you go back and forth from "air" to "where" to feel how little difference there is. "W" by itself doesn't mean anything for us, we don't want to stay on it, we don't want it to take our attention. 

If you want to go deeper into playing with "hard sounds" you can find the link below. And let's jump to the next technique. 

8. Connected speech

The main idea is to feel how we go from a vowel sound to the next vowel sound in our speaking. 

As we play with our phase, it would go "Where-do you live." In this phrase the sound "r" would attach to "do" and becomes "r-do." We don't stop the airflow after "where." 

How: Connected speech by Accent's Way

Who uses it? This is not quite a stuttering technique, it's more a speaking exercise how to feel continuous airflow in the phrase. I used it with my students, and it can be used in speech therapy as well. 

The problem is, as always, how to "remember" about it. We want to give our brain some foundation how to actually feel that airflow and that's where the last technique on the list really helps.

9. Slide (prolongation) and Hit & Hold 

The main idea is that instead of trying to get through the sound, we don't. Physical tension in speaking = trying to get through it. "W" by itself is not scary. It is scary when I try to get through it and I feel that I can't. So we don't try to get through it. We stay here, in the sound. This way we remove tension. 

As we play with our phrase, I could stay longer on "w" in "Where do you live." Or if I feel more tension, I could say "w" separately and drop it. And then stay "Where do you live." Some call it "block and release" or "block and let go." 

It's somewhat close to easy onsets, but we're not trying to say the word fluently, we're releasing tension and stay in the sound. It's more aggressive, more assertive, more elaborate, more obvious. It's not fluency shaping because we're not just trying to say it fluently. It's not stuttering modification because stuttering is not happening. It's something in between. It's closer to intentional stuttering or stuttering on purpose.

How: Slide and Hit & Hold by John Blosse

Hit and hold by Rama Siva (Stuttering Mind)

Who uses it? It's widely used by stuttering courses and programs like McGuire, Startfish and others.  

The problem is exactly the same as with breathing techniques. Some might argue that it's too obvious and weird. But as I said about the breathing techniques, embracing that weirdness, uniqueness, and difference - that's exactly what can make this technique so powerful. 

10. Stuttering on purpose (voluntary stuttering)

The main idea is to 1) face the fear of stuttering, and 2) take control over speaking. 

As we play with our phrase, I could say "W-w-where do you live?" or Where d-d-do you live?" Instead of blocking with tension on "W" I could do repetitions without any tension.

How: An amazing demonstration of stuttering on purpose in 16 seconds

Voluntary stuttering by American Institute for Stuttering

Voluntary stuttering by Brown Cub Speech Therapy

And here's another video from Rama Siva (Stuttering Mind)

Who uses it? It's used by quite some speech therapists. If you give it a thought, many stuttering techniques can be viewed as stuttering on your terms or stuttering on purpose in a broader sense.  

The problem is at the very core of stuttering - we typically don't want to stutter. That's the last thing we want to do. Yet, as I said, voluntary stuttering is not quite "real" stuttering. It's stuttering without tension and without fear. 

The difference between a horror movie and an action movie is that in a horror movie danger often comes unexpectedly, and there's no intention to fight, the character is haunted by the danger, there's no option to fight for various reasons. Either it's too scary to fight or the source of danger is so powerful that there's no reasonable ground to fight. In an action movie, no matter how powerful the source of danger is, the protagonist chooses the path of facing the fear and confronting the danger. 

I want you to notice how you feel watching a horror movie compared to an action movie. Typically, in a horror movie there's no good ending. In an action movie, we usually expect a good ending. And that's for a reason. When you're haunted by fear and you're running away from it there's very little chance to win. You play from the place of fear. When you face fear your chances to win increase dramatically. When you act from the place of courage it really doesn't matter what happens in the outside, because inside you have already won.   

11. Pausing & Phrasing

The main idea is to split speaking into pieces. In general, the shorter the speaking piece is (like a word or a sound) the easier it is to say it. Of course, if I already got tense and I'm in a block state maybe I won't be able to say anything. But in general, it's easier to say a short piece than a long piece. 

People who stutter typically try to say as much as they can fluently because they know that they are going to stutter. This rush and desire to squeeze more into a "fluent gap" creates more pressure and we stutter earlier and with more tension. So, we also want to feel that there's no time pressure, no need to rush. 

In our main phrase "where do you live" there's nothing much to spit, so let's take a new phrase "let's try to speak this way" and we're going to say it in three pieces: "let's try / to speak / this way."

Among the videos on pausing, I include an advice from Steve Harvey. It's not quite about pausing, but it's very close. It's about pausing before you start speaking. It's somewhat close to block and release in some respect ("W - Where do you live?") but you say the thing you want to say to yourself first, not out loud. 

How: Pausing and phrasing by Abigail Duininck

And here's a video on pausing by John Blosse

A tip from Steve Harvey

Who uses it? It's widely used by speech therapists and in various stuttering programs. 

The problem is that even thought it's an amazing strategy, it doesn't solve the problem in principle. Like, what do I do if I can't even start the first sound? Or what if I stutter and that already creates an involuntary pause? In this case, a person who stutters typically is pressed to continue a bit faster without pausing.  

And for the Steve Harvey's advice, it's obviously not that easy to take your time and always say it to yourself first. 

12. Emphasize & Public speak

The main idea is to give our brain and speech mechanism space and time to align. In fact, it's a prolongation that doesn't sound like prolongation. It's a prolongation that sounds natural, assertive and expressive.

I don't quite like simple or mere pausing and phrasing. It might sound rather flat and even monotonous and not quite natural: "let's try / to speak / this way." Now if you add an emphasis to each piece, all of a sudden it becomes more dramatic, colourful and dynamic. And each emphasis automatically creates space for a pause. Now speaking sounds way more natural. 

How: Breathe, Emphasize, Phrase (BEP) by Larry Stein

A great advice for public speaking from Chris Anderson (owner of TED and TED Talks)

Another video on emphasizing by Accent's Way English

Who uses it? I've heard it from Larry Stein. Public speaking coaches often talk about it. It may also be used in speech therapy. 

The problem is that it's not quite a stuttering technique. It's not meant to protect us from stuttering. 

Yet, this leads us to a very profound idea.

Larry Stein says that fluency techniques, or tricks as he calls them, oftentimes don't work, and it's because they are defensive by nature. 

What he tried to do was not to prevent or escape stuttering better, he simply tried to emulate public speakers and public speak in everyday interactions. 

So, when you're reading out loud or talking to the mirror or doing some other practice, ask yourself - is it defensive or offensive? Reading out loud might seem quite proactive, but in fact it's defensive. Going live in the Free From Stutter Facebook group, recording your real life interaction or a phone call - that's offensive! Joining Toastmasters or Free From Stutter Speaking club, starting a YouTube channel or a podcast - that's for sure offensive! Taking speech therapy or joining a stuttering program can also be quite offensive if you get more of public speaking exposure.

13. Engaging your body, gestures & eye-contact

The main idea is to become more assertive and expressive and this way elevate your speaking confidence. This strategy goes hand in hand with emphasising, public speaking and performing in general. 

Let's play with the phrase "let's try / to speak / this way" noticing how we can use different gestures for different parts of the phrase. Emphasising becomes even more colourful. 

As one of the videos to demonstrate this approach, I suggest the video where Tony Robbins helps the guy called Rechaud with his stuttering. And of course, in this video there's an element of internal work and light bulb moments and epiphanies about stuttering that you take or not take as some food for thought, but I want you to notice how Rechaud behaves and moves on the stage. He fully unlocks his body, jumping and shouting literally. It's hard to stutter expressing yourself this way. 

How: Gestures, body language and eye contact for public speaking

Tony Robbins is helping Rechaud with stuttering

Who uses it? Public speaking coaches use it. It may also be used in speech therapy.

The problem is that if you use it as a technique and you get too animated, it might be a little exhausting both for the speaker and listeners.

For some reason, a lot of people think that the hand technique that I use and that I teach my students is also about using gestures. And while gestures are awesome, the hand technique is not about using gestures. Stay a little bit more, and I'll explain. 

14. Articulation and enunciation

The main idea is that stuttering brings tension that covers our body and articulators. As a result, our articulators become more and more rigid and inflexible. Stuttering is not an articulation problem per se, but by articulating and enunciating we physically break that tension and this also sends a general signal that I'm being a bit more assertive and expressive. 

As we're coming back to our phrase "Where do you live?" we could say it articulating and enunciating more vividly, especially on the vowel sounds in "where" and "live."

How: An articulation workout by Improve Your Voice

Who uses it? It's widely used by public speaking coaches and voice coaches.

The problem is if you use it as a technique, it might look a little weird. We want to be reasonable with it, and then stuttering might come back again.  

15. Acting

The main idea is to start noticing how you can tap into different roles and how that affects how you feel and how you speak. 

Emily Blunt, James Earl Jones, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Samuel L. Jackson - just to name a few actors who openly described their struggles with stuttering. Emily Blunt did accents in her school theatre and was amazed to notice she didn't stutter at that moment. James Earl Jones was surprised when he didn't stutter reciting his own poem. Bruce Willis also realised that he didn't stutter when he was acting. Harvey Keitel and Samuel Jackson, when asked how they overcame stuttering, said 'I don't know,' but they both mentioned that they never stuttered while acting.

As we play with the phrase "Where do you live?" let's say it differently with anger, then with fear, then with surprise, and then with joy. As you try to act, your focus shifts from words to emotions that you want to convey. You lose yourself, and you become the emotion. You become somebody else, who... well, doesn't stutter. 

Pretending to be someone else usually leads to a bad acting. Good acting is being real. Finding a character in yourself. Finding yourself in the character. Going inside and exploring the infinite depth of yourself. 

How: How to act realistically by Acting Career Center 

Emily Blunt for the American Institute for Stuttering

James Earl Jones talks about his stuttering journey

Bruce Willis for the American Institute for Stuttering

Harvey Keitel on stuttering

Samuel L. Jackson on stuttering

Who uses it? It's not widely used by speech therapy, but I noticed some coaches who help people who stutter use such a concept as "modeling" where a person who stutters actually tries to act or model or mimic a confident speaker that he/she wants to be.

The problem is how do I do acting all the time? It might be quite exhausting. Yet, it can be a great practice!

If you give it a thought, we’re always playing different roles. There's no fixed and set in stone "ME." And you can tell it by feeling differently and speaking differently in different settings. So, a great question to ask yourself: what role are you playing in those 'hard' situations where you stutter the most? Typically, those are the situations where you want to be fluent most of all and where you feel stuttering anxiety and tension most of all.

Remember what we've learned about pretending in acting? Pretending leads to bad acting. When you pretend to play a "regular fluent" person, it leads to bad acting (more stuttering). Maybe you want to play a role of a confident fluent person while, in reality, you’re playing the role of a PWS (person who stutters) who is ashamed of stuttering and who wants to hide it by all means. 

Instead, I invite you to start looking into ways how we can combine speaking confidence with playing a "real you." That's where the concept of the next strategy or technique might be very helpful. 

16. Open stuttering

The main idea is to remove stuttering shame and desire to hide stuttering  which in turn can remove stuttering anxiety and improve speaking experience. 

A confident speaker (that role that you want to play) is someone who is not ashamed of being himself/herself. As long as you're ashamed of being YOU, all you can do is to pretend to be a confident speaker. Confidence comes from within. It's when you have nothing to hide. It's when you're ready to open up, to give and share. 

Open stuttering is basically not using any techniques to prevent stuttering. Why do I put it as a technique then? Well, when you get intention about it, it becomes a strategy or a technique. You can call "No technique" technique, if you like. :) It's also called "avoidance reduction therapy" where first of all you learn to not avoid stuttering as the biggest part of stuttering is hiding, escaping and avoiding it.

As we play with our phrase "Where do you live" I could say it with stuttering on "w" for example. It's not an intentional stuttering, it's not stuttering on purpose, it's just saying what I want to say without fear of stuttering because I'm not ashamed of stuttering. 

How: Open stuttering by Vivian Sisskin

Open stuttering by American Institute for Stuttering

Who uses it? I've heard the term from Vivian Sisskin and American Institute for Stuttering. Some other speech therapists or speech programs I'm sure also use this approach. And it's quite popular in stuttering community.

The problem is that, as Vivian Sisskin says in the video, open stuttering is the last thing people who stutter want to do. It's not easy to convince yourself to do it even when you conceptually realize it's the right thing to do.

17. Hand technique

The main idea is to align our speaking with pressing fingers on the thigh. This way we create an additional powerful channel of feedback in the speaking loop between our the speech mechanism producing sounds and ears hearing that and the brain that adjusts our speaking and coordinates all that. Why additional channel of feedback? Well, by default, there's a discrepancy, a tiny little mismatch in that loop. 

If you think about DAF (delayed auditory feedback) devices, they incorporate the effect of choral speech and also introduce a slight delay in the feedback that the ear receives. They are quite expensive and they don't change anything in principle in our speaking. It's like glasses for your eyes. They help when you use them, but they don't improve your eye-sight in principle.

The hand technique is more like dental braces. The hand technique reshapes your speaking when you use it. Compared to the speech devices and eye-glasses, you become a subject, you're no longer an object. You create change. You're shaping your speaking and your feelings about your speaking. 

As we play with our phrase "Where do you live" I would say it using 4, 3 and 2 fingers to give you a better idea of how it works. As you can notice, the fewer fingers we use the higher the pace. We want to get to regular pace and still feel all the benefits of the training speech.

Pressing fingers on the thigh as such is empty and means nothing, but when you combine it with relaxation speaking itself becomes the source of relaxation. When you add here connections, emphasizing the main point, engaging body and eye-contact, the training speech becomes effortless, assertive and expressive. The training speech doesn't have to be weird, it can sound beautiful.

So, the idea is just to restore the rhythmical structure of your natural speaking. And the hand is a free tool given to us by nature that you have with you 24/7. 

How: Hand stuttering technique by Free From Stutter

Who uses it? I learned it in my speech therapy back in the day as a person who stutters. My students use it inside the Free From Stutter Program. 

The problem is that most people don't understand what it is. Most of the time people say, "Yes, got it, awesome! I also like using gestures! But it doesn't work for me." So, I need to explain again. That's why I'm making videos about it.

When I was taking my speech therapy back in the day as a person who stutters, and as I was learning the hand technique myself, I thought it was a rather traditional therapy, and now I realize it was quite an unorthodox approach. 👀

Which one?

There's something we can learn from each of the techniques. I hope that from this blog post and this video you gained a broader perspective on what stands behind the techniques, what's the purpose of each of the techniques, how we can address different parts and aspects of stuttering. 

Which ones should you use? Of course, I'm biased towards the hand technique because that's the one I use and I can clearly see the benefits it brings compared to other techniques: 

Compared to traditional fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques - no need to prepare for hours in order to "remember" the same feeling or to "catch" the trace of the same feeling in real life. You have the hand with you all the time. It's way easier and I would say way more realistic to do it with your hand because of the additional channel of feedback. Strictly speaking, you're not "remembering" it from your practice, you're creating the right feeling right at the moment of speaking interaction.

The hand technique adds automation to our muscle and emotional memory. You don't need to focus on the techniques any more. Which in turn, allows you to bring your focus where it should go - on active listening, genuine connection, and authentic self-expression. 

Compared to modelling someone, public speaking or acting - we're giving our brain additional layer of support. And we give ourselves additional layer of acceptance. Oftentimes, we can find ourselves still trying to play this role of a "regular" fluent person bearing fear of being revealed. We want to remove that fear. 

Compared to open stuttering - we're adding an idea that stuttering doesn't have to be there, in your speaking. Stuttering is OK, we want to remove stuttering shame, stuttering fear and hiding it. But we still can add a bit more awareness of the speaking structure and to feel that speaking can be relaxing, effortless, and expressive. We still can add a little bit more of this feeling that you can speak on your terms, and be authentic at the same time. 

How

With all my bias towards the hand technique, I'm the first to say that HOW you use the technique is way more important than which one you pick. 

Why I love the open stutter approach, it gives a great perspective right from the start. 

You can use the same technique from the place of fear or from the place of courage. You can use it from the place of shame or from the place of confidence. 

In every single speaking interaction you're making a choice. It comes down to your intention. It's either "I'm trying not to stutter" or "I'm trying to be myself." 

The first choice ultimately leads you back to stuttering and struggle. The second choice leads you to speaking confidence. 

Tapping into those deeper layers of stuttering - that's what makes a long lasting change and transformation. Not practicing your technique for hours every single day. 

Truth be told, the techniques and the training speech can bring long lasting results only when you approach them as stuttering/speaking on your terms. And it's a skill that can be learned and mastered. 

From the outside, "being yourself and speaking on your terms" might sound the same for you as "trying not to stutter and trying to say it fluently."  But these are just the opposites. While they might still involve using the same technique. Leading to drastically different results. 

So, I gave you a pallet of different colors and an array of instruments for drawing and painting… 

It’s time for you now to draw or paint and create your masterpiece!

Thank you so much for paying attention! Talk to you soon! 


If you are a person who stutters,

and you're not quite satisfied with how you feel at the moment of speaking interaction

I invite you to my free training where I share my view on getting free from stuttering 

And for more interaction,

join the Free From Stutter Facebook group.

Please, don't stay isolated! It's crucial to feel you’re part of the community!


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