Hard Talking Made Easy

by Noelle, grade 5, Deer Creek Elementary School

What do King George IV, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, and James Earl Jones have in common? They all stuttered! I am writing this article to explain about hard and easy talking. I don't want people who have hard talking to be teased or feel different.

Hard talking is what you may call stuttering. You speak too fast and the muscles in your mouth get tired. You might take short, quick breaths, making it difficult to get enough air to speak smoothly. When you have hard talking, you could forget what you were going to say and you might not look at the people you are communicating with. Sometimes you could even get overworried about being teased about your talking.

Easy talking is just the opposite of hard talking. When you have easy talking, you speak slowly. Because of that, the muscles in your mouth don't get tired. You also take deep breaths, so you have enough air to communicate and speak smoothly. You would be comfortable with your listeners because you wouldn't have to worry about being teased.

If someone you know has hard talking, here are some ideas to make that person feel better about it. You could make a signal between the two of you to let your friend know when he or she is having hard talking. If he or she were going to say something important in front of the class or another large group of people, you could remind that person to speak slowly. You could also give your friend a compliment when they have easy talking. Some ideas are: "You're having a *lot* of easy talking today!" or "I like how you're trying to speak slower!" You should remember that it is easier to communicate with good listeners. To be a good listener, you must pay attention by keeping your eyes on the speaker and waiting your turn to talk.

I hope you learned about hard and easy talking from this article. If you have any more ideas about how to have easy talking, please let me know!

added with permission, February 11, 1998