Make Room For The Stuttering

Dishing About Stuttering

Posted on: August 5, 2011

I might be sucker punched here, but if I had to choose who I thought was the better speaker at this year’s stuttering conferences, NSA and FRIENDS, I would choose Marc Vetri over David Seidler.

Nothing at all against Mr. Seidler, of course. He was highlighted in my last post and was deservedly the marquee keynote speaker at both conferences. He did a GREAT job! He stayed and interacted with as many people as possible at both conferences and delivered an inspirational message.

However, Marc Vetri was the perfect choice to address young kids and teens who stutter and their parents. Why? Because he stutters openly!

I happen to think it’s a really good idea to have people who stutter speak at stuttering conferences. And Vetri was phenomenal!

He is a renowned chef in the Philadelphia area, with three popular and thriving restaurants . He also won a 2010 Iron Chef competition, and regularly appears on the The Food Network channel.

He is an everyday guy who loves to cook and is enjoying industry success. With success comes more public speaking, and he stutters openly, not letting his stutter hold him back.

I had the good fortune to chat with Marc and his wife over lunch after he spoke at the conference. He is one regular guy who is a great role model!

Here is just a snippet of his five-star keynote address. I have more of him taking questions from the audience that I may be persuaded to post!

5 Responses to "Dishing About Stuttering"

Great job Pam … nice blog too. Thank you for sharing.

Pam, I couldn’t agree more and have written the same sentiments to so many people about Marc.
When I got home I sent an email to my entire family, including in-laws that described the impact Marc had on me. Still gives me chills.

Pam, great post. However, I believe that the organizers of the conference made a very good choice in choosing speakers for the conferences. At the NSA I heard some who still had their stuttering and led productive and full life and were terrific speakers, and I heard those who like David Seidler are now recovered and can speak with no or very little stuttering. Until very recently (2 years ago) I didn’t even know that there are people who recovered (by recovery I mean they achieved a level of fluency that allows them to speak freely and without fear). When I first got to know such a person, and then another and another – I was very inspired, I got hope. It is very important for young people to see that there are many possibilities – they can gain significant fluency or if this proves to be impossible for them, they can become good speakers with stuttering. Seeing both the possibilities is very very important. I didn’t have this when I was a child or a teen. I wish I had.

Totally get what you are saying Anna! And I thought Seidler was great as well. But for the Friends conference, whose focus is primarily on kids and teens who stutter, to me, its most important to have people who actually stutter.
It cannot always be recovered stutterers who speak at these events
In the five years I have been attending,( a total of 9 conferences)most of the keynote speakers gave fluent presentations.
For young people, I think seeing and hearing a “regular person” who they can realistically aspire to, has more impact than a “famous” person who most of us will never be!
That’s why I wrote this at risk of being challenged. Which is a good thing. Challenge promotes dialogue!
I have video of Seidler’s address in the previous post! 🙂

[…] the audience at the FRIENDS 2011 convention in DC in late July 2011. After a great keynote talk, (clips here) Marc was great to take some unscripted questions from the […]

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