How to Stop Stuttering While Talking?

This is an extremely common question.  How can you stop stuttering while talking?  Here are several tips you can begin to use immediately.

  1. Understand that for most people, stuttering is both Psychological and Physiological.  Therefore, you will need to systematically address both aspects.
  2. Use a consistent, daily process to change how you think about yourself as a speaker.  This may include affirmations first thing in the morning for at least two minutes, picturing yourself speaking well, and quietly, but continuously encouraging yourself to be patient and stick with the process until you see results.
  3. Use a model to help you create a “brand new” speaking style.  When you model someone else, you are helping your brain create new memories of you speaking.  This is so powerful, I can barely express the potential gain you can achieve from this.
  4. Remind yourself daily and throughout the day that you do NOT have to rush.  You can take your time and say whatever you want to say.  Many people have developed the habit and belief that they must hurry up and get it out.  They believe that people will not listen to them if they speak too slow.  They feel that speaking slow is weird.  All of the above couldn’t be further from the truth.  Train yourself to relax, slow down and take your time.
  5. Remember to breathe.  As silly and simple as this sounds many people who stutter actually forget to breathe regularly.  Their breathing becomes shallow, they run out of air and eventually begin to block. Breath deeper and more frequently than you normally would.  Take a few more pauses, speak in shorter phrases initially until you’re able to develop a more natural, and smooth speaking rhythm.
  6. Focus on “replacing” stuttering speech rather than “stopping” it.  I cannot stress this enough.  For most people, if not all, stuttering is or has become a neurological issue.  This means you cannot disconnect the neurological connections that have been made.  However, you can form new ones that “replace” or become more dominant than the old ones.  In other words, forget about what you don’t want to do (stuttering) and focus on what you DO want to do, speak smoothly, fluently, confidently and clearly.
  7. You stop stuttering while talking by practicing talking a new way that is more fluent.  The more you practice this in your everyday conversations, the more natural it will become.  Initially, much of this will not work.  Why?  Because of homeostasis.  This is your brain’s natural defense against changing things too quickly.  Also, you will struggle because learning new skills and habits is just hard.  The brain much consciously focus on the behaviors thus using more energy, which gives the sensation of struggle.  Keep at it, it will get easier.

You may also check out my answer on Quora: How do I stop myself from stuttering or being shy from people watching/listening to me?