Make Room For The Stuttering

Humor At Toastmasters

Posted on: December 12, 2011

I had an impromptu moment of stuttering humor at a Toastmaster’s event on Saturday, which couldn’t have been better if I had planned it!

Once a month, our Toastmaster’s division has an Executive Council meeting, where all of the officers get together and compare notes and progress.

On this day, I was asked to present the report for our division, in the planned absence of our Division Governor.

We follow a pretty tight agenda, and each presenter gets 5-7 minutes to deliver their report. Someone “times” us, and holds up helpful flags to let us know our pace and when to wind down. Red means stop! When I saw my “red flag”, I still had a couple slides left to cover and more to say.

That is not unusual for me. I often struggle to stay within timeframes, and have demonstrated that throughout my 5 years of giving Toastmaster speeches. I have given over 50 speeches and am on track towards my goal of DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) which is the highest rank in Toastmasters.

So I said I wasn’t finished yet, and added, “Just so you know, stutterers are always entitled to more time.” That got an appreciative laugh from the audience.

Someone immediately chimed in and said, “Pam, you are well on your way to DTM, or ‘Don’t Time Me!” That got an even larger laugh from the group.

I finished up with my presentation and sat down to applause!

As I thought about it later, I realized how great a moment that really was. In a formal meeting following formal timing protocols, I injected impromptu humor about  stuttering, which was well received.

And a fellow Toastmaster felt entirely comfortable to “jab” back with a perfect little joke that everybody got and enjoyed.

Another example of the value of sharing our stuttering and making it a comfortable topic for anyone to talk about.

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4 Responses to "Humor At Toastmasters"

Really cute, Pam. I love that.

I love humor like that-you were terrific and that other person was quite quick witted. What a great moment.
I had my own moment today . I had to call a patient who had left a message she needed to talk about a problem she was having( I work at an OB/GYN office) I called her cell phone and as we talked I had some major blocks. She said I needed to call back on her home phone as she was losing reception occasionaly. I had to laugh and told her it was not the reception, it was me. I explained that i am a stutterer and can block on certain words and letters. I laughed and said lots of people think they have bum phone service with me.I found it to be a great moment-no shame,no bad feelings-just humor. So we continued on with her problem. It felt liberating this time,even though had to explain my stutter many times. I guess we really can mellow with age,lol .

What a great story. I love this and am going to share it.

Yup, awesome.

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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.