What’s up Kingly Speakers,
It’s Sjoerd and Hille from Broca Brothers writing to you from The Netherlands. Last weekend we had the pleasure of travelling to London for coaching people who stammer. Next to the personal coaching we did, we also set up a workshop in collaboration with Kings Speakers. For that we want to give an extra thank you to Suzana, probably very familiar to you all.
Our story is that we have stammered ourselves since we were young children while speech therapy throughout the years never gave the desired results. We kept stammering up until the point that, around 4 years ago, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We set out to figure out stuttering and how to become more fluent speakers. To make a long story short, what was first meant to overcome our own stammer turned into something a lot bigger and the result of that is us flying to European cities to coach others. Last weekend that city was London.
Our view on stuttering.
We always start our workshops with the same question: “How fluent are you when you’re talking while you’re all by yourself?” The answers range from “very” to “100%”. We state that you already are a fluent speaker but that some situations trigger your stutter. We call it situational stuttering. Figuring out the why of situational stuttering will lead to overcoming stammering and let the natural fluency come out that was already there in the first place.
To put it simply: the thing that gets in the way of us speaking fluently is what we call the internal brake. The internal brake means wanting to speak on the one hand, but being afraid to stutter on the other. Those two forces pull in opposite directions and everything stops working! We get stuck, there’s an internal block which eventually comes up as an external block, as a stammer. The internal brake is present in some situations but absent in others, hence the situational stuttering.
When we let go of the internal brake, so letting go of the fear of stammering, we can fully express ourselves without hesitating. Without the hesitation there’s a feeling of freedom through which one starts to speak with more certainty. As a result of this there’s fluency!
During the Bootcamp we took the attendees through exercises that made them break through the internal brake. You wouldn’t say, but one of the most difficult exercises is making up your own language, talking nonsense. Rationally we can all convince ourselves that we can easily do it, but actually doing it while others are listening creates an immediate internal brake within most people. You start thinking that it sounds silly, that you should make up something that makes sense, wondering what others think of you.
Exercises like that create a direct parallel to what happens when a person stammers. Most people who stammer don’t want others to hear that they do and so avoid letters, words and speaking situations as a whole as much as possible. It’s the worrying that creates the internal block which in turn leads to tension. That tension then disrupts the fluent flow of speech. When we help someone break through that he or she will experience a sense of freedom. A feeling of being able to say and do anything you want. The hesitation is gone, the over thinking is gone and one can finally be him or herself, fully expressive and fluent.
We want to thank everybody who came out to join us and a special thanks to King’s Speakers for helping us to set up this event. Our first time in London was a huge success and we’re sure we’ll be back again soon.
We filmed the whole Bootcamp so we’ll be posting really great content in the next few weeks. We’d say check our website and join the e-mail list and we’ll let you know when we’re back!
Hille & Sjoerd