Make Room For The Stuttering

On Depth of Character

Posted on: March 10, 2009

Today I gave a speech to a room full of job developers. These are people who have the daunting task of finding or creating jobs for persons in need of some type of supports. The typical person who works with a job developer has some type of disability – be it cognitive, emotional, learning, or physical. I followed the guy from the department of labor who gave a rather dreary overview of labor market trends (maybe dreary is a strong word, but it was – what else could it be?)

My topic was to talk about resume writing, applications and interview skills, and offer some good news that with the proper tools, jobs can be found. Not the most exciting of topics, but I was going to share how to help people make winning first impressions. No matter what the job market looks like, that is always current.

There were more people there than I had expected- about 75. And I recognized several people in the audience. A couple came up to me before hand, and said they were so excited to see me on the agenda, that they had chosen this break-out session to attend rather than another one. Oh boy, no pressure to perform, huh?

Of course, I wanted to do well. I wanted to do much better than the guy who went first, whose graphs and charts were really . . . . . . well, you know how well graphs and charts go over!

I knew my material and felt comfortable. What was I worried about? Guess? I worried about how much I might stutter, and should I say a quick little something before I launched into the wonderful world of resumes.

Well, here’s what I did. After being introduced, I said I wanted to start with two quick things. One, that I had no statistics or charts, and that the guy before me would be a hard act to follow. (There were some chuckles – good, I had broken the ice!) Then I said, I also want you to know that I stutter, and you might hear it during my talk. Don’t get alarmed. I’m OK with it, and I hope you will be too. Then I took a breath, smiled, and started talking about resumes and marketing yourself.

I was fine. No one batted an eyelash. My stuttering did not interfere at all with my message.

As a matter of fact, someone came up to me after and said “That was a perfect introduction. You told us you stutter, and you looked relaxed and at ease, and so were we. That shows self confidence and your depth of character. Good for you. Good for us.”

Good for us when we can do that and get on with the issue at hand. Good for me. I felt great!

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. 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 2022.
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