I accidently figured out that if I write a word when speaking then I don’t stutter when saying it.
I realised this a few weeks ago when giving a lecture for the summer school course I was teaching and I wrote down a phrase I wanted to find again and research when I got home. Almost magically I could feel the tension of speaking relax out of me when I started writing the word out. I have been experimenting with it ever since, andnow include underlining which also seems to help, especially with been able to speak with more emphasis and modify the rhythm of my speaking so I don’t speak at a million miles an hour. Now I am at the stage where (somewhat ironically) my lecture notes look like I have been taking notes on my own lecture.
Having to speak precise words in a precise way is a nightmare for stutterers. I often explained the frustration of stuttering in terms of having the capacity to spell a word in one’s head but simply not being about to speak it. Now I literally do spell the word out but on paper. The writing out technique really does help. (The title of this post is to help stuttering googlers looking for tips, which according to my blog site stats is very frequent.) I think it freaks the students out as they often look like they are wondering what the hell I am writing when giving a lecture. Yes, I work on my other papers in the middle of delivering a lecture…
I think it must have something to do with the affective dimension of expression and there being some sort of short circuit in the way I perceive myself speaking. I hear myself speak and kind of lock up. By writing down words and phrases I release the tension and open up the short circuit. Or, at least, that is what it feels like I am doing.
I’ll see how I go on Thursday when I deliver a quasi-academic paper to a group of design and architecture focused students and practioners.