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I have received a letter from a 47-y.o. person who stutters from Sweden. You may read his questions and concerns in green letters and my respose below. Enjoy your education!
1. “I would like to know how you are working with your Etalon students in overcoming their current speaking problems which are inevitably connected with very strong negative feelings, even trauma of some kind.”
I teach every student what exactly he needs to do in order to create adequate speech IN ANY SITUATION and how to direct his one undivided beam of attention to these his Etalon/correct Speech Actions only. Just as every normal speaker, the moment he gets busy doing just this during his speaking, no speech mistakes (stuttering) ever occur and stuttering disappears AUTOMATICALLY:-)
Whether they are negative or positive, your feelings are YOU! Each of us has come to this planet to EXPRESS ourselves (feelings, emotions, ideas, etc) in our muscle action at the present moment. I teach my students how to express any emotion (including fear!) with the movements of their speech muscles NATURALLY. They begin performing these Etalon Speech Actions in any situation and realize that they are the only ones who CAN (and must!) control their correct speech… Everything is VERY simple in Nature…
2. “According to my understanding, it is because I, in those situations, make a DEMAND that I MUST produce fluent speech (which I am not sure I can do). Otherwise, I will be judged in a negative light and my worth as human being will be challenged or in danger in me as well as in the listener/s opinion.”
There is nothing unnatural or illogical when people around an adult person expect him/her to behave like …. adult. This is an absolutely RATIONAL ” judgment”. Just like in doing everything else in front of others (walking, writing, swimming, looking, dressing, dancing. etc), every rational person always feels the DEMAND to do things like others in speaking as well! People always judge/laugh when they see an adult behaves like a child, who has not mastered correct performance of various actions: when someone makes a funny spelling mistake while writing, falls off a bicycle while riding it, or steps on a partner’s foot while dancing…. Those who are skilled in these actions are considered NORMAL, but those lacking correct skills are always being JUDGED/laughed at… Speech is just one of many other actions that we can be well trained in or not. Those who are skilled in speaking are being judged as NORMAL. The one who demonstrates immature speaking skills will always draw the attention of others who will see this inadequate speaker in the “negative light” as they will always question whether this person is normal and what to expect from him….
3. “It creates tensions with the negative impact on speech production. I have experienced traumatic speaking experiences at numerous occasions during my life.”
Who do you think this “IT” is? You are the only one who creates everything within your both mind and body:-) Once again, I teach how anyone CAN substitute his Non-correct Speech Actions (NSA) with the Etalon ones, perform them always and everywhere correctly and never create any “tension”… Every Etalon student realizes that all his “traumatic speaking experiences” were due to his own incorrect speaking behavior, then, after he learns to act correctly, he begins speaking normally in the now and the past no longer impacts his present performance:-)
4. ” I went to the school with a SENSE of doubt. When I SAW the crowd sitting in front of the stage I began to FEEL very scared. Standing in a line with other chosen pupils and waiting on my turn to read, I began to FEEL panic. My legs trembled and my heart beat so strongly I had a FEELING that everybody could hear it. My performance turned into a disaster.”
Look at your how many words I put in bold letters… they indicate how many times you’ve performed just one NSA (Non-correct Speech Action) of distracting your attention from speech to something else…! This is a great example of YOUR totally inappropriate use of your “body-mind” system:-( Instead of “feeling” your Correct Speech Actions, you were feeling all kinds of irrelevant to speaking things… I teach what exactly every normal speaker does while speaking normally anywhere and in front of anyone:-)
5. “It took me days, probably weeks to recover from that experience.”
Usually, it takes a couple of hours to most of my students to realize how simple correct speech actions are and how they can express any feeling in speech.
6. “I have a problem to say my name on different occasions and I fear presentations on meetings and similar events.”
In order to say anything, one must know precisely how to do it with 100% certainty! Just like in writing: before you can write correctly a word, you must have learned its correct spelling.
7. “I am 47 years old… In my present state, I just have difficulty to imagine myself sitting in a meeting and presenting myself with the sense of calm or make public speaking of any kind with the sense of confidence, as I never had such experiences in my life.”
Of course, you have difficulty:-) I am 57 and “in my present state I just have difficulty to imagine myself” for example, speaking Japanese, playing the saxophone or flying an airplane… Can you guess, why? Yes, I have never learned how to do it correctly in my entire life!!!
8. ” I am 47 years old… I work as a social worker helping people with drug and alcohol abuses.”
The oldest student I have worked with in the Etalon classroom has been a 58-year-old man from the S. African government… I am not even allowed to tell his name:-) It does not matter who or how old you are…. Anyone can learn to perform a muscle skill that he/she did not learn as a child… Does it require some amount of will power and endeavoring? Yes, of course. But, it is never late to learn!
9. “I would like to know about Etalon education cost as well.”
Please, find this information on the website. http://5.livestutterfree.com/skype-class/enrollment-process/ We do our best to accommodate our students’ enrollment and offer various partial assistance. Right after you decide to enroll, write or Skype me and I will tell you the precise amount at that moment.
10. “I wonder also if it is possible to have some kind of email contact with some of your graduate students willing to share their experiences with their speaking skills transformation.”
Please, read carefully about this your irrational (in reality!) inquiry here: http://5.livestutterfree.com/should-i-focus-on-my-actions-or-on-actions-of-others-in-order-to-fix-my-life/
11. “And, English is my third language, which I do not use so frequently. My oral skills are approximately on a similar level as my writing ones. I do not know if it is a problem?”
This is a rational question:-) The instructions are given in English. As long as a student can understand and follow the directions of a teacher, he CAN participate in the class. This is why I always meet with every potential student before he makes a final decision to enroll in the Etalon class. I answer his questions and determine his readiness for his education.
As you probably noticed, most of my students speak English as a second, third and even fourth language. In reality, it does not matter what language they speak. More languages just mean that they would have to learn more words… But the natural principle of speech is identical in any language:-) We all have the same instrument: one tongue, lips and two years… We do not need anything else to speak! I teach this…
Here is one more interview I have taken recently. This is one of the Etalon students who took his 3-day class 2 years ago. He is from India and it may be not easy to understand his accent at times, but I recommend you watch it. It is very informative. I make every video as a lesson:-)
Anna Deeter, M.A.,
CEO, Speech Educator
Speech Program for the Elimination of Stuttering
SPEECH ACADEMIE ETALON INTERNATIONAL BY R.A. SNEZHKO, INC