Stammering Stars

We have heard of so many celebrities who stammer. Biggest name in India – Hrithik Roshan. But there are some more – Rowan Atkinson (of the Mr. Bean fame), Ed Ball (British Minister for Labour). I’ve also come across on internet about Dilip Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Kishore Kumar also being prey to the same problem.
I learned about Ed Ball’s stammering woes just recently on TISA blog. Everytime I come across any information about any celebrity or public figure with a stammer, the first thing I rush to do is to catch a video and see him talk (Youtube has always been helpful to me – thanks to google). Everytime I see them talk, I see no trace (not even slightest) of stammer. They talk like they never had a stammer ever! They talk like those fluent people.
As PWS, we know that stammering is not curable. Curable as in – no medical or clinical treatment is available. This implies that it cannot be eliminated completely. What we have to do is, manage our stammer while talking. And we all do it. But however we try, that small trace of stammering (even 1%) always remains. People still notice that speck of disfluency. How then do these stammering “stars” talk in front of the camera as if they never had stammering? How does Ed Ball or Rowan Atkinson speak with no stammering at all? How can Hrithik Roshan deliver a very fast dialog delivery ( movies like Kabhi khushi kabhi gham, Koi mil gaya ), with no disfluency at all? What do these celebrities do differently that we do not?
I am sure many PWS have the same question. How can these celebrities talk as if they have completely eliminated their stammer?
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Post Author: Harish Usgaonker

12 thoughts on “Stammering Stars


    (February 3, 2010 - 5:36 pm)

    Dear Harish
    Look at this video:
    Does he appear to stutter? No. But he tells you how (and why) he did it. There are many more ways of "appearing" totally (even super-) fluent for a short while.. but for us the problem comes back.. When we accept it as basic nature of everything in life (night following day- day following night), it no more hurts. You may or may not be able to give up stuttering- but you can certainly give up "stuttering mindset" with a little hard work over a short period. THAT, for me is good enough cure. Talk to JP sometime on this theme..


    (February 4, 2010 - 9:57 am)

    Very well said Sachin, i totally agree with you on this. I think acceptance is the key. About the famous personalities i have also heard Marilyn Munroe, Winston Churchill, Demosthenes and many others overcame it completely or to a degree where it is not a concern for the speaker or the listener, but in order to achieve that that changing the mindset is very important.

    I have also read In John Harrison book that stuttering is not a problem in itself but a reflection of sum of other problems which the individual might have. These can be
    Low self confidence, belief or past experience, repeated failures etc. What I think the most important is to do is understand the problem. What is it? Why is it happening? What happens to me? when i get stuck, what is my state of my during that time? Etc.
    It might take some time but if you keep trying you will start getting few of these answers.
    If one can progress in that department then it becomes a lot easier I guess.
    It is such a problem which does not have to be solved. The harder you try the harder it hit backs with double force leading to more frustration.
    So we don't have to solve this problem but to dissolve it. That means we don’t directly fight with problem but we remove the reasons which supports the problem. And once that is done anyone can speak
    totally fluent i think. Regarding the percentage, i bet no one is 100% fluent unless he is delivering an already rehearsed speech but not in day to day talking. So we should not be targeting at speaking fluently but speaking without fear of stammering and rest will be fine.


    (February 4, 2010 - 5:04 pm)

    Thank you Sachin Sir and Sujit for the response… I was waiting for it…

    Sachin Sir, I saw the video that you sent. He has cleverly edited the blocks to appear super fluent. And this is exactly what i often wondered… Are the videos of all these Hrithik Roshans, Ed Balls and Garreth Gates cleverly edited to shield their stammer on screen? In the famous interview of Hrithik with Farah Khan, you cannot notice the edition ( or the abrupt cuts ), but you never know!

    But I fully agree with you Sachin Sir, and Sujit, that it's the mindset that needs to be cured (and can be cured) rather then stuttering… And that's all we should be looking to do…


    (February 5, 2010 - 5:35 am)

    I agree with you all that first 90% of Psychological inhibition neeed to take care of. visible symptoms does't affect us much than the after effect of stammering does. like that guilt and self-pity feeling which continuously fretting our heart and soul and keep us bogging thought our life.

    so what can be done about it, like taking initiative for different day to day activities. why not start it from the SHG itself. many times i feel that we need to motivate the SHG team, we should keep on stimulating them otherwise most of the time voice fell in deaf ears. (and i think mostly it happens)


    (February 5, 2010 - 7:02 am)

    Agree with you kishore on taking initiative on day to day activities. And yes SHG is definitely a good place to start with this. Some of the reasons why the motivated PWS become de motivated according to me are:

    1.Holding and not speaking their heart out and loud in the SHGs meetings. This is the place I guess where PWS should speak on anything and everything which has bothered or has been bothering them in regard to stammering. And that is how they might to able remove or lessens the burden of guilt, pity, anger, sadness and other emotions which they have been carrying from years.

    2.Try to inculcate what the PWS learn in the meetings, so that they can see how meetings are helping them in their life.
    3. The do not set the goal, like what you exactly want from the SHG meeting. Setting up the goal and a timeframe of achieving that goal gives you the energy and enthusiasm to work towards them. Monitoring the progress on daily, weekly and monthly basis.

    4.Learn from other people in the SHG meetings. This can be both learning from the peoples success and also failure.

    5.The meetings should be innovative, so that people feel like coming back and doing the things, fun activities should be a part of it.

    6.Finally it’s your commitment to change, and CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!!


    (February 6, 2010 - 8:41 am)

    Hi Sujit and Kishore,

    What you both opine is very much true…

    It's a good idea (and the best one) is to start at the SHG. But the challenge lies in changing the mindset ( as Sachin Sir says ). Majority of the PWS are in the quest of fluency… or cure. They try hard, and fail, and that's where the problem starts. We should understand that Stammering doesnt need cure… It needs a change in attitude. A change in the mindset. What we should aim at, is not to eliminate stammering, but to keep going, and live a life, do everything without fear, and don't let stammering stop us… ( Remember Front of the class movie ? )

    The motive of all the SHGs should be to imbibe in the members this attitude and mindset about stammering.

    But the challenge lies at the very first step – Getting the PWS in the SHG. Because, some expect cure… some hate acceptance, and believe the advertisers who promise cure… and some have already given up all the hope that they think trying anymore is useless…

    So, that is the reason, we all SHG members should along with our SHG activities spread this message and awareness about stammering. Use the wonderful media called internet! Blog about it… write about it… Talk about it.. Spread the idea…. If we don't do it, then who will ??


    (March 12, 2010 - 10:28 am)


    I am an MBA, BMS from Mumbai

    As I am a Management Professional, i have to give interviews, presentations, talk on phone, persuade on phone, explain on phone and so many daily chores which involve talking… I am looking for therapies which will help me overcome the stutter…

    I have missed presentations in my institute using the excuse of `not well` many times, although due to the grace of GOD it hasnt mattered much.. but now I ahave to work in a company where presentations, meetings, conferences, telephonic conversations, etc will be a part of my job…

    I really want to fare well there, coz i know that i was a bright and intelligent student but bcoz of stuttering i dont want to loose out on big opportunities which il come across…

    I have already given 5-6 interviews where i was not able to speak even two sentences fluently…

    i just read that it is not a problem but a psychological block, irregular breathing and preconceptions…

    I have so many things in my heart for my loved ones, for family for friends and also for the world which i want to voice, but the barrier plays a spoil sport…

    I have an interview tomorrow with a big company with the reference of my dad and one of his friend, I am afraid that i might not land – up looking silly or foolish since so many reputations are involved…

    But wen i read about the psychological blocks and irregular breathing and preconceptions I have grown in confidence and Il practice the therapies which you may suggest…

    Looking forward to your support…

    Once I was in a Group Discussion and i did not speak anything till the end, the supervisor advised me

    I want to see myself speak beautifully everywhere i go…

    Pls Help


    (April 23, 2010 - 8:54 am)

    Dear Blog Readers,

    I have observed stammering problem in my 3&1/2 yrs old son. Since last few days, he found difficulties to pronounce some words but he sing a song with fluency. we have met with Speech Pathologist and training sessions would start. does it help, howz your experiences… pl share!.

    Is anybody have some home remedies / alopathy / homeopathy / naturopathy…. pl contact me on

    With regards,
    Amrish Panchal


    (May 29, 2010 - 8:45 pm)

    guys i want an answer!!!
    every one has there stammering type problms. mine is some kind different.

    i m an engineering student in third year with the stammering problm. but wid some kind of different type. honestly speaking when i talk to girls or a group of frnds d stammering does not occur. but being with my parents i stammer a lot.

    more over my main problm is dat i cant speak out my name properly many times… seriously i feel very disappointment due to dis.. if i could speak my name i think that i will cure 50 percent of my stammering problm..

    i have tried a lot..
    i have spoken my name many time lonely nd some time in some bunch of people but d probl occur when suddenly someone ask my name…

    if any body can help out to solve…
    so plz i will so thankful to him..



      (October 6, 2013 - 6:34 pm)

      I do have same problem….have u found any solution


    (August 25, 2010 - 5:28 pm)

    hi guys,
    iam a student, i stammer sometimes, but it is too difficult to lead a life in this world aho are suffering from stammer, but iam trying to overcome from this, anyone want to help me, please plz……. send me any useful tips..plzzzzzzz


    (August 26, 2010 - 3:14 am)

    Dear Anonymous
    Blogs and pdf books can give only general kind of help and ideas.. Beyond that, if you want to to go, you must meet in person for counseling..
    Here is my email ID if you need more ideas.. satksri at

    Dear Mr Panchal
    Children as a rule have better recovery rates. But you must have a Speech therapist who SPECIALIZES in Fluency disorders.
    Also, parents and siblings of the child have a much more important role- because the child talks to them much more often than to his therapist..

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