Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘workplace stuttering

Last week, I had the opportunity to emcee an awards event at my school. I call it an opportunity because I try to seize every chance I get to do public speaking. I enjoy it, while many of my fluent colleagues hate it and avoid it all costs. My co-workers were glad that I was willing to do it.

I have had years of experience with public speaking, through my association with Toastmasters and no longer dread it like I once did when I was really covert and afraid to stutter openly. But I still get a little anxious, like anyone would. My adrenaline gets flowing because like anyone, I want to do the best that I can at events like these.

As a stutterer, my biggest challenge is reading names aloud and introducing people. That was to be my primary role as emcee at the awards event – introducing each person and keeping the ceremony moving and flowing.

I was anxious about saying people’s names – as I knew I would stutter on them. And stutter I did. Some with light, easy repetitions, a couple with blocks.

No one seemed to care, as the event was about celebrating success and I was just a cog in the wheel to make sure everything went smoothly. The people whose names I was calling were getting certificates of appreciation – that’s what they focused on.

But it bothered me. It always does when it comes to names. I feel getting a person’s name right is important. Our name is our identity and it’s important. I feel bad when I stutter on a name and it “doesn’t come out right.” I feel like pronouncing someone’s name correctly is a show of respect.

I always worry about this – perhaps needlessly, as like I said, no one seemed to be bothered by it except me. It’s important to me that people get my name right, so I think I should get their’s right too.

What about you? Do you find it difficult with people’s names? Just your own name? Do you place importance on getting someone’s name right?

I had a really great conversation this week with a colleague about stuttering. I was talking with a new staff member about a Google hangout I participated in with people from all over the world, and how much I enjoyed it. She asked me what was the topic and I said stuttering.

PamEpisode 135 features Ashley Marcinkiewicz, who hails from Clifton Park, NY. Ashley is currently a PhD student at the University of New Hampshire, where she is studying microbiology. As a PhD student, Ashley teaches biology courses. She also enjoys hiking and outdoors activities.

Listen in as we discuss what it’s been like teaching and how Ashley has handled advertising her stuttering. We also discuss techniques and tools Ashley uses for when she gives presentations.

We talk about speech therapy experiences, the importance of attitude in how we approach our stuttering and how stuttering can be used as a benefit.

We also discuss the importance of community and learning from others’ perspectives about stuttering.

This was a great conversation, full of honesty and humor. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions in the comment section.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 134 features Margaret Heffernan, who hails from Greeley, Colorado. Margaret is 20 years old and a senior at the University of Northern Colorado. She is studying theatrical design and technology with an emphasis in stage management.

We discuss the importance of communication in her work and how she “calls shows” as a stage manager. Margaret realizes that she can be a good communicator even if she’s not fluent.

Margaret’s dad also stutters. We discuss what it’s been like growing up with a family member who stutters, pushing herself through hard things, and not feeling so isolated.

Listen in as we also discuss entering adulthood, self-confidence, approaching job search and interviews, being open and turning a corner, and stuttering without fear. Margaret wrote a great piece describing her thoughts about stuttering, called “I Stutter and Some People Wear Glasses.”

This was a great, honest conversation about life transitions. The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

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We all know the statistics. Only about 1% of the adult population stutters, so it’s common to not meet another person who stutters in our everyday lives.

I’ve talked to many people around the world who have shared that they have never met someone else who stutters, which may add to the isolation of stuttering.

I work in an organization that employs about 450 people, and I’ve met three other people who stutter through work. Statistically, that plays out as it should, but it seems strange that I’ve actually met all three of them. I don’t work directly with any of them but we have occasion to see and talk with each other.

They all happen to be men, which bears truth to the belief that there are 4 times as many men who stutter than women.

I have spoken about stuttering with two of the guys. In fact, one of them always asks me whenever I see him if I’ve done anything stuttering related recently. He’s referring to things he knows I’ve done in the past to raise awareness of stuttering, like organizing talks at local libraries and schools.

One person is a relatively new colleague that I see at least once monthly at meetings. I noticed that he stutters, but I didn’t go up to him and say, “hey, I stutter too,” I did that once with someone and it backfired. The person got offended and profusely denied he stuttered, even though to me it was quite obvious.

Everyone is at a different juncture with their stuttering journey and I don’t think it’s up to me to bring it up when I hear someone else stutter. But if this colleague approaches me and wants to discuss stuttering, I will gladly talk his ear off about it!

In an odd way, it feels good that I’ve met others who stutter in my workplace. Growing up, I never met anyone else who stuttered and always wondered if I was the only one.

It’s good to know I’m not the only one in the workplace.

PamEpisode 131 features Vanna Nicks, who hails from Piedmont, California. Vanna is a busy mother of two and also works full-time as a speech pathologist in a trauma center at an acute hospital in Oakland.

Vanna always wanted to be a SLP but didn’t have the confidence. She moved to Washington DC and found Vivian Sisskin’s avoidance reduction therapy group. There, she found the self-confidence to go back to school to become a SLP.

Vanna learned through avoidance reduction that she had the right to speak whenever she wanted and that she became more fluent when she stuttered openly. She learned to be truly honest with her self and others.

Listen in as we discuss advertising, workplace stuttering, being approachable, developing rich relationships and so much more.

The podcast safe music clip used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

Producer note: As I played back this episode, there are parts where it sounds like I spoke over Vanna. I certainly didn’t mean to and I don’t remember doing that when we spoke. I wondered (aloud) if it was an audio glitch that I don’t know how to correct. Maybe – maybe not. Either way, enjoy the episode. :)

PamEpisode 127 features return guest Annie Bradberry who hails from Corona, California. Annie is the Executive Director of a non-profit physical fitness program for kids in schools called The 100 Mile Club.

Annie has been involved in the stuttering community for her entire adult life. She is the former Executive Director of the National Stuttering Association and is a current Stutter Social Hangout host.

In today’s conversation, we chat about the recent annual NSA conference and why Annie keeps going back. We discuss contributions to the stuttering community, increased confidence and being at our personal best.

We also talk about the great impact of being Stutter Social hosts, and how our bi-weekly hosting is now something we both very much look forward to. Annie talks about the power of social media and people meeting other people who stutter for the first time in video hangouts. We also discuss the added benefit of meeting people in person at the annual NSA conference that we’ve come to know through the hangouts.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2015.
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