Keep it up. In time it will be easier and easier and you will look forward to speaking. You'll see new people come in and be terrified to give their first talks. You'll wonder why they are so scared since they don't stutter. At least I did. But it really taugtht me how hard it is for almost everyone to do public speaking.
Originally Posted by steric
Just gave my third speech. I did not stutter this time at all. Had a lot of filler words though. We have a person who counts the number of filler words, like uh, um. I had 44, and the next highest guy had only 6. But that's how I speak in English anyway, since it's not my native language. Even in my native language I use a lot of filler words and spend a long time making up sentences.
I could feel a block coming, but I slowed down and concentrated on getting my breath out evenly so the vocal cords were kept engaged, and got through it. The rest of the speech was sort of automatic. I didn't know how I was doing it, but I just kept speaking. Also, after getting through the near block, I felt a sudden surge of optimism, and started looking at the audience's eyes and tried to engage them in what I had to say, and I could seem them reacting and nodding. Maybe that helped.
Maybe I'm learning to use the breathing techniques unconsciously.
But it's frustrating because I don't really know what I'm doing right (or wrong). There is something happening and I don't know what it is, which is bad, because that something can just as easily work against me because I have no sensation of it.
Maybe I should take some more risks and see what happens, like making some phone calls.
I have to find out what's going on.
Keep going strong and hard!
This morning I was ordering breakfast at the school cafeteria. Usually I would order something that I can order in a simple sentence, so I wouldn't get stuck. This morning I opted for a rather complex order. When I finished I was aware that I had nearly got stuck. But my recovery was automatic. I had stopped breathing, concentrated on exhaling out, and had recovered my voice again. I wasn't completely aware of this until I finished it.
I think I'm starting to integrate the fluency shaping techniques in to my speaking subconsciously. This is the goal of any fluency shaping program, right? First break down the speech movements in to simple parts, train each part separately first, then train integrating them in to increasingly complex patterns until that pattern matches normal speech. Do this over and over until it becomes burned in to your muscle memory and you do it subconsciously.
But I think getting over the secondary stuttering behaviors (behaviors that arise because of negative feedback, like fear of speaking) has a lot to do with it too. Some time ago, before speaking to someone, my heart used to beat so hard that I could hear it in my ears, and I could feel myself sweating. I don't feel that anymore, which I think happened because of the confidence I gained by practicing over Skype first and then moving on to toastmasters.
PS: Please correct me if my terminology is incorrect. I've just learned the techniques and theory here and there and have never formally learned them.
I wasn't here for a long time because of a big exam, so I don't know what's been going on. I put my stuttering recovery on hold for a while, because of the exam.
So this is just an update.
Because of lack of training, I guess I'm back to my old stuttery self, although I don't stutter as much as I USED to. I guess it is because of confidence gained from past improvement and the lack of stress because I just got through an academic hurdle, but yeah, I still stutter.
Oh well, time to start practising again.
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