Hey, You Can’t Say You Stutter
Posted January 9, 2013on:
Last night at my Toastmasters meeting, we were all asked to introduce ourselves and tell each other what Toastmasters has done for us. Guests or new members were asked to share how they hoped to benefit from joining Toastmasters.
Two people who spoke before me both used the word “stutter” in their introductions.
A veteran of the club said Toastmasters has helped him be more confident and effective, and not bumble and stutter with words.
A newer member said she hopes to learn to not stutter when she is nervous and to not panic as much when she does any public speaking.
This made me bristle! I felt like saying to them, “Hey, you don’t stutter! You don’t know what it’s really like to know what you want to say and have your speech disrupted or blocked.”
I felt offended that they used the word stutter so casually, when to me stuttering is so personal and has significantly shaped who I am today. I wanted to correct them, to educate them, to defend all stutterers who really stutter.
But I didn’t! It wasn’t the time or place. People weren’t there to learn about stuttering. They were at a Toastmasters meeting, where we all come to get better at communication and leadership.
I kept my bristly thoughts to myself. Maybe I need to do a speech soon on what stuttering is and isn’t!