One way to achieve a slower rate is to insert pauses in natural places. For many cluttering speakers this is not part of their natural ‘system’. This means that most of them must be taught to pause deliberately, since they do not always know where to do that. It may help to let your client transcribe from a recording some unintelligible sentences (from his own speech). First without spaces between words and then with normal spacing.
Slowing down by stretching words
For some clutterers it can be helpful to stretch out their words and sounds, as if they are walking through syrup. By doing this, they gain more time, which is a prerequisite for talking in a more controlled manner. There are some tools that can benefit the person who clutters, like delayed auditory feedback. Speech language pathologists can also act as models for the client to imitate. Or they can use and play recordings that their clients should repeat at the same speed. Also they could give instant feedback to the clutterer by giving them “speed tickets” for exceeding the limit.
Many people with cluttering are condensing their words. They are slurring syllables together, mostly in multisyllabic words. Reading out loud these multisyllabic words when tapping a finger along with each syllable written down can help the clutterer to articulate all the necessary sounds. Later on, this technique can be used in live conversations as well.
Most (phonological) clutterers speak in a rather mumbled way. To avoid this, they can practice and improve their articulation skills by “overarticulating”; deliberately expressing words and sounds in a 200% clear manner.
Stressing syllables in longer words (like “com-pe-ti-tive”, “ex-ag-ge-ra-ted”, “pre-li-mi-na-ry”, or “si-tu-a-tio-nal”) helps the clutterer in speaking clearer and with more intonation. It also helps articulating all the un-stressed syllables in a word or sentence.
Sometimes it is necessary to train the clutter’s ability to tell a narrative in a structured way. Some people with cluttering are better off thinking not only about the key words in a message but also way it should come out. To give an example: first they practice in expressing the most relevant information (“Telephone is down. Need to recharge. Call you back”.) Then they find more words to glue these key words or group of words together: “Unfortunately my phone is not working any more, I’d probably need to charge it. If that is done, I am gonna call you back. You’ll get my answer as soon as possible”.
Using your true, relaxed voice
Many people who clutter try to compensate their unintelligibility by speaker louder. Fast and loud speech, however, should not be used together. As it puts less strain on their vocal cords, developing a relaxed inner voice can be an effective strategy to prevent cluttered speech from happening. This will get rid of the tension that obstructs them from pronouncing their words and sentences properly.
Lowering your pitch
Many cluttering speakers are enthusiastic or temperamental by nature. Speaking at a lower pitch can help to prevent them from losing their control too easily. For example when something triggers them to react fast in certain situations.
Interaction with others
The clutterer can learn a lot from routinely checking with the listener by eliciting feedback. For example, they could ask their listeners whether they got their message, or whether they should repeat what they’ve just said. Besides that being open about their cluttering diagnosis can help people who clutter feeling less awkward, anxious or ashamed about their speech.
We can not repeat enough that every cluttering client (truly) is unique and requires some level of engagement to become more intelligible or fluent. Bear into mind that progress usually comes in small steps.