Make Room For The Stuttering

Re-Re-Re-Really Diverse Toastmasters Club

Posted on: April 21, 2009

Yesterday I got a call from someone inquiring about the Toastmasters club that I belong to. My phone number gets to be listed on the website for our club because I am the president. So I get lots of phone practice, whether I like it or not.

The phone gives me the most trouble. I have heard other people who stutter say the same thing. I can’t quite figure out what it is with me about the phone, but sometimes I’ll block completely on the phone, something that I don’t typically do in person. I have had people hang up on me in the past, because I didn’t say anything and they weren’t expecting a stutterer on the other end.

Anyway, this woman called looking for information about our club and she had a lot of questions. English was not her first language, so I was having trouble understanding her, and more than once, I had to ask her to repeat something. She was nervous about joining Toastmasters, because in her words, “I don’t speak that well”.

I smiled to myself, and went about putting her at ease. I said to her, “Then we are just what you are looking for. Toastmasters is a place where people from all walks of life come together to practice speaking and communi-ca-ca-ca-tion skills”. (I often stutter on the middle of that word, in person or on the phone). She then wanted to know what types of professions people in the club were in and how many members we have.

I replied, “Oh, we’re a re-re-re-really diverse group”. ( I sort of blocked, and almost pushed the “reh” sound out, and braced myself for a negative reaction). She said something like, “you must be very proud of your group, to emphasize really so many times”. I laughed and said I sure was proud, and that I was looking forward to her visiting our club next week.

I enjoyed the humor I found in this situation. A couple of years ago, I might have been offended, thinking she was making fun of me, but this I took in stride and found the humor.

Coincidentally, I am planning to do a speech next week on stuttering. The speech goal is to deliver an informative speech on an abstract concept. I am going to discuss fears and desensitization, and explain how voluntary stuttering can reduce or eliminate fear of stuttering.

Hoo-Rah!

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. 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 2017.