My approach to achieving fluency

I welcome you to watch the video below where I describe my approach to overcoming a stammer and achieving fluency. I have included the transcript below the video for those people that would prefer to read than watch a video.



Hello! In this video, I’m going to be talking about my approach to achieving fluency. This was the approach that I had myself when I went about attempting to overcome my own stammer at the age of twenty two and is still the approach that I have today when running my one-to-one stammering therapy courses in Birmingham.

Now, I believe that I was born fluent and that I therefore wasn’t born with a stammer, but along the way, at the age of four, for whatever reason, something went amiss and I developed a stammer, for again reasons that I’m still not even sure of today, and as time went on, the stammer kind of got gradually more and more severe until the age of twenty two, which was again, at the time when I was attempting to find a solution.

So okay, something went wrong at the age of four, so therefore let’s start again. Let’s go back to the beginning and let’s try to relearn how to talk. How do people, children, babies, learn how to talk? They do it by observing other people around them. It might be a brother or a sister, a mom or a dad, grandparents, guardians, whoever, they’re doing it from observing other people.

Observation skills

So okay, I will go back to observing other people, to in a way re-teach myself how to talk. I’m going to throw away this faulty speech and start again, but this time I’m not just going to copy anybody, I want to copy the best. I decided to focus on people who I believed were very good talkers, speakers. People such as politicians, people on the TV in soaps, in England, people who maybe read the news, plus people in my circle of friends, colleagues at work, family members, who I believe were very good talkers. I was going observe them, watch how they spoke, how they went about breathing, how they dealt with pressurised speech situations, such as public speaking or as an example, using the telephone, which is again what I really had a dislike to.

What I was then planning to do after hopefully gaining some insight, was to use what I had learned and to practice what I’d learned to make it natural to my own speech. You could say, “Well, that’s a bit of a crazy plan,” but that was the plan, that was the idea.

Again, slowly but surely, this was not a quick process. It is very, very hard to overcome a stammer and I say to everybody who is thinking about attending the course or is thinking about purchasing one of the self-help products, it takes time, it takes a lot of hard work. I am unable, unfortunately, to offer you a magic pill. I can offer you a solution that worked for me, but the solution that worked for me took a long time, took a great amount of work and I describe it in detail, how I went about doing it.

This approach that I’ve explained in brief here, again, was slow progress, but it eventually worked ( after about ten, eleven months) First of all, finding the techniques, which I now call the “speech rules” – and that took five to six months. And then I spent three to four months practice-wise, working very, very hard. The end result was that I had achieved my ultimate goal in life, to be able to speak free from stammering, free from the fear of stammering. I can tell you now, that was an immense, immense feeling and I knew from that point that my life started then, started at the age of twenty two, just about to turn twenty three. That is when life began for Steve Hill.

So yeah, that’s my kind of approach, was my approach, and still is today. Thank you.

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at