My name is Wen and I’m a 29-year-old venture capitalist from China. An MBA graduate of Stanford, I’ve lived in the US and China each for about 14 years, and I also speak Spanish and French. However, I never quite came to terms with stuttering until I found Lee.
I’ve struggled with stuttering throughout my life. It’s always been situational and episodic. When I was in elementary school, I remember mimicking someone stuttering in a comic movie and it stuck with me. Over the years following elementary school, I managed to become quite fluent and confident in my public speaking skills, even appearing on TV in various public speaking competitions. However, some fears and threats of stuttering lingered.
After moving from China to the US for high school, I remember feeling very nervous about being in an English-only environment but managed to conjure the courage to speak publicly often, to ultimately deliver my graduation speech in front of the entire school and their families and friends.
In college though, the fears came back ad by the time I got to business school, things seemed to have started to worsen. I hadn’t stuttered in Chinese for a long time (ever since 4th grade) and thought I’d be super fluent in Chinese under any circumstances. That changed when I stuttered once in Chinese and, as of a year ago, stuttering in Chinese has bothered me even more than in English.
Since working with Lee since around September of 2018, my biggest take-away is, I should re-gain pride in my speech, rather than simply fixing something that is wrong with me. I should aim to think of myself and be thought of as the best speaker that those around me ever know. Lee helped me believe in myself again.
More specifically, while I have found and used many of Lee’s crutches, I have found “speaking like a king”, as Lee calls it, to be my most important crutch, and that means a few things: speaking softer (or sometimes louder than usual), really over-enunciating every word, and slowing down at all times and inserting full stops, to give myself and the listeners breaks. I am now speaking so much better, not simply not stuttering, but far beyond that. I’m on the road to being a truly fine speaker.
Using the methods in Lee’s book, I’ve come to view every conversation not as a possibility to stumble, but rather as an opportunity to speak beautifully. I still struggle with some jitters every time I speak, but at least it’s been over a month since I’ve had an incident in which I’m noticeably stuttering.
I feel so differently about my speech and life now. I know that I can and will be a fluent speaker for all my life, and this gives me a great feeling of confidence and freedom and happy anticipations. My goal, over the coming months, is to speak like a king every day in every conversation. Further, 6 months from now, I plan to truly fall in love with speaking and seize every opportunity to do so as long as I live. I’m also going to continue giving myself daily mind-training treatments and keep planting the thoughts that I want to govern my life.
And thank you Lee for changing my life!
WEN, L.A. & Beijing, August 2019