11 Keys to becoming a fluent and confident speaker:
The story of the Six ‘Blind’ Men and The Elephant is a classic Indian parody and cautionary tale about the danger of mistaking knowledge of the parts for knowledge of the whole. In this age of increasing technological specialisation and ‘silos’ of data that go very deep into specific knowledge of their subject, the tendency is to develop their own specialised language that then prevents simple communication with other disciplines.
The word ‘blind here is used, not in a judgemental way towards the wonderfully qualified and committed specialists that work within their established frameworks, but can be substituted for the words “specialised” which at its most extreme can become “blinkered” or “isolationist”.
Click on the link below to see a simple animation of the story.
In my experience, these 11 keys are a step by step chronicle of my challenges with stuttering-a roadmap.
- Realising that like the elephant above, I am a whole person, not a sum of parts and pieces, and that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
- Self Acceptance-There is nothing wrong with me. I am neither broken nor needing to be ‘fixed’ -a stutter is not a broken leg or life threatening disease.
- That my speech is not yet how I want it to be, but that it will get there
- Seeing myself as a person born with a natural innate ability to speak
- Realising I am a fluent speaker with blocks to expressing that fluency
- Accepting responsibility for having those blocks to fluency
- Drawing a line in the sand and saying: “Enough stuttering. I choose to be my natural fluent speaking self”
- Investigating the blocks that are creating the fear, tension, shame, guilt, isolation and hopelessness
- Using whatever modalities you feel drawn to. Experts are useful if they see me in a holistic manner
- Accepting my stutter firstly as a challenge to be faced and overcome(everyone has challenges), then as a gift I can use to fulfil my purpose and contribute to others
- That I have something worth saying that can help others and impact the world
Some famous stutterers you may not have known about:
Winston Churchill-British Prime Minister during WW 2 and master orator, had a lisp and avoided the letter ‘s’, though he may not have stuttered.
Marilyn Munroe-the actress who used her breathy style of speaking to cover up a stutter, was fired from her last movies because of her stutter
B.B. King-famous blues guitarist and singer who released 75 hit Rhythm and blues singles between 1951 and 1992
Carly Simon – Pop singer who sang “You’re So Vain”, had a severe stutter as a child and took up song writing as a result to avoid speaking
James Earle Jones – Famous actor and iconic voice of Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars’ had a chronic stutter when young but could talk fluently to the farm animals
Bruce Willis-famed tough guy and “Die Hard” actor could hardly speak and took up acting to help his stutter
Samuel L. Jackson–
Ed Sheeran – Pop singer
Emily Blunt – Actress
Megan Washington – Australian Jazz singer – See her TEDx talk