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.
As time went on, the stammer became gradually more and more severe until the age of twenty-two, which was the age when I decided to start my quest 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.
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 going to copy just anybody, I want to copy the best. I decided to focus on people who I believed were excellent speakers. People such as politicians, people on the TV in soaps, newsreaders, plus people in my circle of friends, colleagues at work, family members, who I believe were very good talkers. I was going to observe them, to watch how they spoke, to see how they went about breathing, how they dealt with pressurised speech situations such as public speaking or using the telephone, which is 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 provide you with a solution that worked for me, but the solution that worked for me took a long time, took a significant 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 eleven months). First of all, finding the techniques, which I now call “the speech rules” and that took around six months. And then I spent five months practice-wise, working very, very hard. The 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 feeling, and I knew from that point, that my life started then, started at the age of twenty-two. That is when life began for Steve Hill.