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How not to stammer under pressure

Unless you’re a veteran of the chat-show circuit, speaking while under the spotlight can bring about spluttering. Stephen Hill, a stuttering therapy coach (Stammering-stuttering.co.uk), knows how to steady your speech.

“It’s vital you don’t think of the scenario as a negative,” he says. “Fool yourself into thinking you’re going into a positive situation.”

Leave the thesaurus in your desk drawer as fishing for elongated words can bring more problems.

“Use words that are quick to memorise. Looking for a big word can mean a long pause, which can create more angst.”

What if you’re midway through saying something and words are becoming increasingly harder to pronounce?

“Never rush. You may want to get it over with but it’s all about breathing correctly so slow down. Don’t forcibly avoid eye contact with people. It makes them think you’re uncomfortable — you’ll subconsciously recognise that fact and then be under even more pressure.”

(Image: Rex Features)