What to James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader), Presidential Candidate Joe Biden and King George VI have in common? (See end of post)
The term "fluency" describes the fluidity and ease of speech. The most common fluency disorder is called stuttering. Stuttering is defined as the interruption in the flow and rhythm of speech, characterized by: repetitions of sounds/syllables, blocks in the flow of air, prolongations of vowels, interjections and revisions. Additionally, covert behaviors such as physical tension, rapid blinking or even avoiding certain sounds or words may also appear. It is normal to have occasional moments of dysfluency when speaking, however it is when at least 10% of the overall message contains dysfluency is it considered stuttering.
One way we teach children to visualize moments of stuttering or fluent vs. dysfluent speech, is to think of it as bumpy vs. smooth. Recognizing these moments and differences in their speech and body language/feelings can improve self-awareness and self-confidence.
When thinking about your own speech, would you say you speak fluently or dysfluently? The next time you have a conversation, see if you can notice any moments of occasional dysfluency.
So what do those three individuals have in common? They stutter!