I received the following request:

“I’m looking for advice on helping a young man of 18 (he’s in first year university) who has trouble when under pressure (interviews, etc.) with stuttering. Thanks in advance for any input you can offer.”


My Response:

Have him start singing. When he does, he will not stutter.

Advise him not to fight his blockage. Have him look for a different word.

A stutterer knows ahead of time when the stutter will occur. So the technique is to redirect attention away from the word he anticipates that will block his speech. Fighting the blockage does not work. Move around it.

This is a long process, but the only way he will improve is if he regularly talks to other people.

Also, forget about any psychological study. Learning how to talk is natural. Somehow, when learning how to speak, attention was called to it—which prompted the stuttering. You can prove this to yourself by deliberately thinking about walking down a flight of stairs as you are walking down the stairs. You will start to trip. Speaking, like walking down stairs, comes naturally. Focus on it and you will trip—or in this case stutter.

Share with him the Alexander Technique to focus on the movement of his head and body.