Make Room For The Stuttering

Toastmasters Show And Tell

Posted on: June 23, 2010

Remember back in grade school when you had “show and tell”? You would bring something from home and stand up in front of the classroom and show it off and talk about it. It might have been a favorite new toy or book or even a pet.

Well, I had a chance to do “show and tell” last night at my Toastmasters club meeting. I gave my last speech needed to earn my ACG status. The speech objective was to incorporate technology into my talk. And not just PowerPoint. The speech called for using the internet to both add to the value of the speech and to demonstrate how technology can easily be used in today’s presentations.

The toastmaster manual suggested that the speaker find or create a website that could be used for the speech purpose. The manual also suggested that the speaker send some material about the website in advance to members of the club and ask them to review and comment before the speech.

I was able to do all of that by choosing to share with my club THIS blog. I sent some of the members a link to one of my posts and asked them to read it and leave a comment. I would then show how comments can be moderated during my talk. I also chose to demonstrate  the power of podcasting.

I was taking a risk doing this. It meant that I would be letting non-stutterers into this part of my life more so than usual and that I would be vulnerable. But it was the easiest way for me to demonstrate technology, since I love doing this and could talk easily without using any notes.

It went really well. I had internet access and was able to show the different aspects of this blog – posts, comments, pages, etc. I also showed how audio works and played a clip of one of the podcasts.

Four members left thoughtful comments which we reviewed and discussed briefly during my talk. This demonstrated how technology enables us to interact with readers or listeners.

I was happy with the comments too. It showed that even though my blog and podcast focuses on stuttering, my themes of acceptance and empowerment transcends stuttering. Toastmasters were able to relate to facing challenges and finding ways to rise above them.

I was happy that I chose to do this topic. In a way, I felt proud to be able “show and tell” something that is very important to me, and it felt really good to open up this part of my world to other people who don’t stutter.

Several members were really impressed with the technology I highlighted – namely WordPress, Skype and Audacity. I was teaching too.

Some of the written feedback comments I got included phrases such as: inspiring, fascinating, personal testimonial.

One comment mentioned that I had a lot “ums” and went over the time limit. That frustrated me. I have mentioned before that Toastmasters count the use of filler words such as “um” and “ah” and keep track of time.

As a person who stutters, the use of “um” is often part of my speech pattern. It’s unconscious mostly, as an avoidance tactic to keep from stuttering on more words. I never have figured out how to deal with this effectively in Toastmasters.

Maybe I don’t need to figure everything out. Maybe I just need to enjoy the fact that I was very happy with what I did with this speech.

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1 Response to "Toastmasters Show And Tell"

The fantastic “ums”!

I’m pretty sure during the recent elections in the UK our current Prime Minister was doing this in an interview!

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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.