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Why You Stutter During Public Speaking

Does speaking way too fast get in the way of delivering a strong presentation? Read on to see how to get over the tremor and stutter during public speaking!

What Keeps People From Taking the Stage?

            To start off the year we are going to dive into one of the biggest reasons people hate speaking! And no, it’s not stage fright. (However, if you are curious about beating stage fright, check out this article!) It is dealing with the a tremor and/or stutter during public speaking!

            For many, it gets in the way of delivery a strong presentation. They can literally feel themselves shaking. And, it makes them incredible nervous and tense!

            Don’t worry! I have a couple nuggets of best practices that will help you conquer this quick! So strap on butt-kickin’ boots and let’s get to it!

Why People Stutter

            I grew up in an area of some fast-talking folks. This of course instilled in me some habits that have been hard to shake. Let’s face it! We pick up some speaking habits depending where we live and whom we are surrounded by. (You should have seen how quickly I picked up “y’all” when I moved to Virginia!)

And although I didn’t talk much when I was younger, I was difficult to understand when I did. Why? Because I talked super fast! At least to my new friends in the south. 

It took me a really great friend of mine, named JB, who lived in Virginia to help me out with this. I remember I was telling a story and he paused me mid-sentence and said, “Dude, I cannot understand a word of what you are saying!”

You see, I was blasting through my words, half-pronouncing them, stumbling, tripping, and having to repeat every third word I was saying. It was embarrassing! Especially when I began to realize that the people around me looked totally dumbfounded.

I had some things to fix!

            Now, I get it that many people who trip over their words do so because they developed fast talking habits from their surroundings. Not everybody in the world was packed inside of Philadelphia and New York City (that’d be a mess, am I right?)

            In fact, most of the time it is because of the anxiety that comes from stage fright!

            Whatever the reason is, people trip on their words usually because of one thing.

They talk too fast!

Don’t believe me? Check out this article by social skills expert Chris MacLeod

A Few Quick Ways To Stop Stuttering While Speaking

            For this week, we are going to stay pretty high level with this stuff! In the upcoming weeks we will dive deeper into these exercises. Without further ado:

  1. Design your speech without tongue-twisters: If there is a section of your speech with lots of alliteration, try to take that out. In the same regard, if there is a complex thought that is very difficult to say, try to write it out word for word and practice it!
  2. Vocal Warmups: Like exercising, speaking uses muscles. And like all muscles, there is a stretch and warmup exercise for it. We’ll cover more of these in the next few blogposts. However, Google and YouTube is full of them!
  3. Slow Down: Simple yet effective. If you are tripping over your words, work in pauses! It helps immensely!

Despite a temporarily bruised ego, I learned to thank JB for his help! So if you are tripping over your words during your speech – SLOW DOWN!

(And if you can’t, find a friend who will call you out on it J)



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