Another thing that I noticed while reading a full-on book to my daughter is that I have a fixed reading pace that’s neither slow nor fast. One that reduces the stuttering, lets me have fun with the words, and is sustainable. I really did try a few different speeds.
Too slow, and I was thinking too much about the words. It didn’t feel natural. I could breathe a little better, but that didn’t necessarily translate to fluent speech for some reason.
Too fast, and I ran all the words together (of course). I couldn’t breathe, and my daughter didn’t like it much either. I felt too much pressure and stuttered even more.
So I ended up somewhere in the middle, maybe slightly toward the slower side only to make sure I was getting enough air. Not only did this help with being fluent while reading, but also to help reprogram me when I’m speaking to actually … breathe.
I think a lot of the time we are subconsciously hurrying our speech. It’s what we see in the media and hear from friends telling great stories. And the opposite is that we’re told to slow down (which is crap) but we quietly think, ok, let me try that (because it’s not hard to do) and of course that doesn’t work out either.
So I’m content with my own pace. I know there is one. I know I can practice it, and I can have fun with my voice going at that pace.