Last week I released the latest Superstar Communicator podcast. I interviewed the amazing speaker (who is a fellow of the PSA), Mike Blissett. Mike shared a powerful, honest interview, where he described the challenges he had as a school boy and young adult, where he had a stammer.
He discovered that singing helped with the stammer (it went away) and as a result, this impacted on his speaking and over time he was able to speak fluently and with confidence. What is most amazing is that he is now a professional speaker and trainer: using his voice and speaking all of the time. I have known Mike for 18 months and on only one occasion have I been aware of Mike slightly struggling over a word. And given that he is a Fellow of the Professional Speakers’ Association this is truly remarkable.
Not everyone will know what a stammer or stutter is. This is a challenge for speakers, when a speaker gets ‘stuck’ on a sound, repeating it a lot, so isn’t able to speak with flowing words. So for example, a speaker might go D-D-D-D anger. The challenge is:
- It can knock the confidence of the speaker as they can’t express themselves easily
- Unfortunately other people (mainly children) can imitate them or laugh at them.
- The speaker is unable to make themselves understood
- Their messages are devalued
- Other people disengage from them
- With the best will in the world, communications wise they are unable to present the best version of themselves.
Here is further information from the NHS about stammering. The good news is that there is treatment available. Actually learning to sing is not uncommon as you are tricking the brain into thinking about the melody and singing rather than getting ‘the words out’. I am sure Mike’s story will inspire everyone, but particularly those who suffer from a stammer, or who have children who have this challenge.
Remember you can arrange to have a chat with me to discuss training. Book your time here.