Posted May 26, 2010on:
One thing (of many) I am learning as I undertake this new venture with podcasting is how hard it is to not interrupt a guest as she is speaking. This has never been much of a problem for me, but I am aware of it as we are talking. I also notice it in the play-back of some episodes while editing.
What is happening may or may not be unique to stutterers having a dialogue. When the guest pauses, I notice I have been jumping in, eager to make a point or ask a question. Sometimes, it is a stuttering moment that I am stepping on.
The guest might be engaged in a hesitation or a block and I do not realize it until they continue to speak, and we then are both speaking at the same time. I wind up saying I am sorry. It feels so awkward!
This is new territory for me. I don’t like being interrupted myself or having someone step on my words, or finish my words for me. In this new venture, conducting an internet radio show, I am now conversing with different women with different stuttering patterns and sometimes I find myself stepping in at the wrong time. Ouch!
So far, no harm has been done. “No problem” has been graciously uttered several times to my “I’m sorry”.
I might be a little too self-conscious of this myself, as I strive to find my groove in this new role as podcast host. It makes me wonder if fluent speakers ever have to think of this. Probably not. If you listen to a podcast or radio talk show with fluent speakers, there is a natural ebb and flow to the back and forth dialogue.
There isn’t the same natural flow with stutterers who are conversing. We have involuntary stoppages and prolongations. It seems we have to be more poised to listen if the speaker is finished with a thought, or caught in a stuttering moment. Hey, wouldn’t that be good for fluent speakers to work on too?
I find it incredulous that I am even thinking of this, and making myself more cognizant of my own need to sharpen my active listening skills. Which is a good thing. After all, 90% of communicating is listening.
Has anyone else experienced this? Does it make you feel awkward? Is it just a “stuttering thing”?