Stop Stammering: Easy-to-Follow Tips and Tricks to Smooth Your Speech

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:11
Expert tips to control your stutter and build your confidenceNot being able to get your words out properly can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. Just know that you're not alone—more than 80 million people worldwide stammer or stutter,...
Table of contents

Not being able to get your words out properly can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. Just know that you're not alone—more than 80 million people worldwide stammer or stutter, including famously eloquent people, such as Winston Churchill.[1] While there's no cure for a stammer, there are ways you can make it happen less often and make it less noticeable when it does happen. Read on to learn specific things you can do to improve your speech, as well as when you should get a professional involved. If you're here because you have a friend or family member who stutters, you can also learn how to support them.

Things You Should Know

  • Speak slowly and deliberately, focusing on each word as you're saying it.
  • Use breathing exercises to control your breath and decrease stress and anxiety, which can make a stammer worse.
  • Talk to a speech-language pathologist if you're not noticing any improvement or your stammer is seriously interfering with your life.
  • Join a support group to work with others who stutter and improve your speech together.
Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Improving Your Speech

  1. Step 1 Practice speaking slowly and deliberately.
    Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day on this, either by yourself or with a friend or family member who's willing to practice with you. Think about a subject you know a lot about, then talk about it without a script. This helps recreate conversational situations, where you have to think about what you say before you say it.[2]
    • People who stutter often stutter less when they're reading. If this is true for you, reading aloud can help you practice speaking.[3]
    • You might also try this with tongue twisters. To really give yourself a challenge, use tongue twisters that repeat a sound you have a lot of trouble with.
  2. Step 2 Lengthen your pauses between words and sentences.
    If you find stuttering embarrassing, it's likely you also fear silence and rush to fill it with the sound of the next word or sentence. When you're practicing slower speech, take a deliberate pause between words and a slightly longer pause between phrases or sentences. Don't worry about someone jumping in and interrupting you! If you establish this as your normal mode of speech, people will come to expect it.[4]
    • It's good to practice this on your own until you're comfortable with the rhythm and the pauses become second nature. Then it'll feel less awkward to talk like this with other people.
  3. Step 3 Change the way you produce sounds with your mouth.
    Did you know there are more than 100 muscles in your mouth that produce the sounds when you talk? With so many muscles in play, there are a lot of different ways to make a sound. If one way isn't working, another might be better for you.[5]
    • For example, instead of making the "p" sound with your lips, you might make it with the tip or even the sides of your tongue. It won't sound exactly like other people's "p," but they probably won't notice.
    • You might also try intentionally stuttering with sounds you don't normally have a problem with. This might sound counter-intuitive, but when you do it voluntarily, you have control over it—you can learn how to better control the muscles in your mouth.
  4. Step 4 Sing along with your favorite songs.
    When you sing, you use your vocal cords differently than you do when you speak. You also make different shapes with your tongue and mouth. Singing also uses a different part of the brain than speaking—all of which help explain why people who stutter when they speak often don't stutter when they sing. Singing more often can not only help improve your speech but also boost your self-confidence.[6]
    • Song lyrics naturally have a different rhythm and lots of pauses between words, which helps you control speed and pacing.
    • When you go to speak, pretend you're in a musical and you're going to sing the sentence rather than saying it—then say it. You're tricking your brain into thinking you're singing, which can keep you from stuttering.[7]
  5. Step 5 Practice breathing exercises...
    Practice breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation. Research shows that breathing exercises and meditation promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. An overall relaxed state of mind often helps you stutter less.[8]
    • Breath control can help when you're talking if you find yourself stuttering. Just turn your attention to your breath, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, then continue speaking as though nothing happened.[9]
    • There are lots of apps and YouTube videos that can help you start meditating. Just a few minutes a day can really improve your state of mind.
  6. Step 6 Speak in unison with someone else who doesn't stutter.
    Research shows stutterers who speak in unison with someone else tend to stutter less, so grab a friend and find a fun passage to read aloud together. Practice this for 5 to 10 minutes to gain better control of your stutter.[10]
  7. Step 7 Record your own voice while you read something aloud.
    No one likes listening to a playback of their recorded voice. But if you can overcome that, you'll be able to figure out exactly what sounds you're having problems with so you know what you need to practice.[11]
    • The audio playback also gives you a record of your progress. You might make a short recording once a week reading the same passage so you can mark your improvement.
  8. Step 8 Join a local theater or improv group.
    Pretending to be someone else—someone who doesn't stammer—can help you overcome your stammer and speak more smoothly. This might seem like a horrible idea if you have stage fright, but it's worth giving it a go to see if it helps.[12]
    • Many famous actors have a stutter or once stuttered, including Emily Blunt and James Earl Jones.[13]
  9. Step 9 Tell people you stutter before you talk to them for the first time.
    This might sound like your worst nightmare come to life, but it can really help if you get anxious talking to people. Telling them about your stutter frees you from worrying about what they might think if you happen to stutter during the conversation.[14]
    • You might say, "I just want to let you know that I speak with a slight stutter, so if I get caught on a word, all I need is a little time to get it out."
  10. Advertisement
Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Working with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)

  1. Step 1 Use speech therapy to retrain your brain and mouth to speak.
    An SLP will have you speak for them so they can pinpoint your problems and figure out what might work best for you. They'll also ask what situations or circumstances make you more likely to stutter. These specifics help your SLP craft a therapy program for your stutter.[15]
    • Your SLP will also give you exercises to do on your own at home in between appointments. Keep up with these exercises to get the most out of speech therapy.
    • Speech therapy remains the most well-established treatment for stuttering, with a lot of research to back up its effectiveness.
    • Looking for an SLP? Try checking out the resources linked by the National Stuttering Association at
  2. Step 2 Control anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
    While researchers still aren't certain about the relationship between anxiety disorders and stuttering, they do know that anxiety tends to make stuttering worse. CBT can help control anxiety, which might help you stutter less often.[16]
    • Talk to your doctor if you're interested in CBT. They'll likely refer you to a therapist. It might help to make sure any therapist you use has experience working with people who stutter.
  3. Step 3 Ask about medical devices if speaking in unison helped you.
    An electronic fluency device fits in your ear like a hearing aid and replays an altered version of your own voice as you speak, so you're basically speaking in unison with someone. If you like how your voice sounds when you speak in unison with someone else, you might want to try one of these devices.[17]
    • These devices are relatively new and researchers are still evaluating their long-term effectiveness.
    • If you're interested in this device, talk to your SLP. They'll know how to get you set up with one.
  4. Step 4 Try medications if you also have depression or anxiety.
    Stuttering is classified as a psychiatric disorder and there are some psychiatric medications that can help stuttering. Since many of these medications are typically prescribed to treat depression or anxiety, they tend to be more effective if you have symptoms of those conditions.[18]
    • If you're interested in trying medication, talk to your doctor about it. They'll evaluate your other symptoms and get you started on something that might work for you.
    • Keep in mind that these medications don't usually work right away—it might be several weeks before you start to notice any difference, but that doesn't mean the medication isn't working.
  5. Step 5 Join a support group to compare notes with fellow stutterers.
    Sometimes you find the greatest help just from talking to someone else who's going through the same thing you are. You can commiserate with each other and also share tips and speech exercises that have worked for you.[19]
    • If you're working with an SLP, ask them about support groups in your area—they'll likely know of one they can recommend.
    • Support groups can be freeing because it's a true judgment-free zone—everyone there understands what you're going through because they're going through it too.[20]
  6. Advertisement
Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Supporting Someone Who Stammers

  1. Step 1 Let them speak at their own pace.
    It often helps a person who stutters to speak more slowly and take longer pauses between words and sentences. If they're able to say what they want to say without being pushed to speak more quickly, this is a triumph! When you let them control the pace of their words you show them that you care about them and support them.[21]
    • If they get excited and start stuttering because they're trying to speak too quickly, don't tell them to slow down—this comes across as demeaning. Instead, show patience and let them take control of their words on their own.
  2. Step 2 Wait for them...
    Wait for them to finish before you speak. Show someone who stutters that you're patient and it's worth waiting for them to say what they need to say on their own. If you cut them off or finish their sentences for them, you send them the message that their words don't matter.[22]
    • When you see someone you care for struggling, it's natural to want to help. Just remember that finishing their sentences or speaking for them isn't usually helping.
    • If your friend or family member who stutters is open to talking to you about their stutter, take their words to heart—they'll tell you what helps them and what they want you to do.
  3. Step 3 Stay engaged during the conversation.
    Listen actively and make appropriate eye contact as the person is speaking. Ask only one question at a time and let them finish their answer before you ask them something else.[23]
    • If you don't understand them, it's better to ask a clarifying question than to ask them to repeat what they said, which they might interpret as making fun of their stutter.
  4. Step 4 Keep the conversation calm and relaxed.
    When you speak, slow down your speech and keep your voice relaxed. If you speak in a rush or with a sense of urgency, the person who stutters will likely feel they should rush as well, which can make their stutter worse.[24]
    • Reflect what they say back to them in a calm and relaxed manner to demonstrate that they don't need to rush. This works especially well with little kids, who will naturally mimic your speaking pace.[25]
  5. Step 5 Offer praise and acceptance to children who stutter.
    Stuttering is more common with little kids, and they often respond well if you compliment them when they speak smoothly. You might say, "I love how smoothly you said that," or "Good talking, you didn't get hung up once!"[26]
    • Never criticize or punish a child when they do stutter—remember, it's not something that they can control. If you criticize them or get angry at them, they're likely to develop self-esteem and confidence issues.[27]
  6. Advertisement


  • If you are an adult who has recently developed a stammer, contact your doctor immediately. It could be a result of head trauma or a symptom of a serious central nervous system disease or disorder.[29]
    Helpful 6 Not Helpful 2

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article