Make Room For The Stuttering

All Heart – Male Episode 14

Posted on: August 14, 2012

Episode 14 of the series of conversations with men who stutter features Grant Meredith, who hails from Victoria, Australia.

Grant works at the University of Ballarat, as a Lecturer in multimedia and gaming. He is also coordinator for introduction and welfare for first-year students.

Grant takes a very matter of fact approach to his stuttering, and will tell his students upfront that he stutters, and then never mentions it again. His expectation that stuttering is not an impediment cues others to follow his lead.

We have a great discussion about public speaking, and how stuttering can make us more lively, interesting speakers. And Grant makes a great analogy about how understanding stuttering is akin to learning a foreign language.

Listen in as we also discuss the expected reactions of listeners, positive attitude and mindset, perception, and being self aware.

This was a great conversation between two lively speakers and great communicators! Feel free to leave feedback for either of us.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is “The Living Physicist” by DanoSongs.

6 Responses to "All Heart – Male Episode 14"

Brilliant and inspirational episode…Thanks Grant, you certainly made me realise a few things , that are simple when you actually break it down !!!

Thank you for listening Lisa and I am glad you enjoyed.

I’ll admit that I picked this podcast because I participated in a stuttering forum where Grant participated and I always appreciated his perspective on stuttering and maintaining a postive attitude in the process.

A couple of comments – Grant mentioned that the some stutterers feel that the world doesn’t understand them. On the stuttering forum that I used to particpate with Grant, I admit there was a lot of this kind of thinking, a great deal of self-defeating attitude. I actually do not frequent that forum very often at all anymore. I, myself, have felt to some extent the world doesn’t understand. Really, what it boiled to down to it, at one point, I felt I was dealt a bad hand. What found out is that the negative philosophy does not get me any where. At my previous employer, I participated in a peer coaching program for managers, The last coach I had gave me a great deal of things to think about and challenged me to not feel sorry for myself. I remember what exercise was to identify people that are encouraging you and challenging you then identify people who discourage you and full of negative talk. I did self-reflection and I said the latter is me and that is something I can change. It takes a discipline to do but I feel it definitely has a very positive impact on the body mind and spirit.

Role Models – For many years of my life, I wanted to be like the Bruce Willis’s and the James Earl Jones’s of the world because the conquered stuttering. They offered hope. They also set me up for a lot of let down as well because I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I do think there is room for the Grant Meredith’s of world or more recently Lazaro Arbos’s where they publicize their stuttering without shame and carry themselves with confidence. I spent much of life trying to hide my stuttering where they actually confront without trepidation. In my head, there is room for both.

Sounding strange after going through a speech therapy program – Having the experience of going through the program, I have to say it does sound different, strange or what not. I think all these adjectives point to being comfortable. People heard me for years this one way and now I am going to sound different. I also think it is reflexive to go back to the old way of speaking. It is like an old blanket, it is what you know. I still practice almost everyday my targets and I do see it sounds exaggerated at times but it has helped me. The more I do it, the more it sounds like me. I don’t think people give it enough time to let it sink in. It is not a cure but definitely assists in forward speaking. I don’t fault anyone for not wanting to go that route. Stuttering journey is a personal road with goals that are specific to each person and will vary from person to person.

I know this is very long, Pam. I hope you don’t mind. If you want, you can edit some out if it is too long.

Of course I don’t mind the lenght of your comment, Mike – that’s waht this is all about, inviting dialogue, hopefully inviting people to feel free to express themselves in any way.
The only time I have ever edited a comment was when I deleteted it altogether – and I only do that with the spam. 🙂
I think it’s great that you share your whole opinion with us, and don’t feel it has to be censored. Please. feel free – as much and as often as you’d like.
Let me know also when you’d like to be a guest and tell “your story.”

“My story” is still in a work in progress but I would be happy to when I have a bit more time. Keep up the good work. This dialogue is very beneficial for many!

Wow this is so uplifting and inspirational! Grant you are a real role model; dynamic, interesting, open and positive. Great to hear such a lively speaker who has such fun speaking! Love the analogy that learning to listen to people stuttering openly is like learning to understand a foreign language! Lets hope we get more people openly stuttering in public in order to educate, empower, promote awareness and attract funding. You are so proactive in working tirelessly in many projects. You are a fine example and ambassador for PWs at your workplace and wherever you go.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see the presentation on a couple of Grant’s projects at the World Congress in the Netherlands. Scenari-Aid which has been up and running as an interactive website, assisting thousands of people for some time now gain virtual speaking practice ( you can check it out at ) and Grant also gave a little window into another most exciting and engrossing project which is in the pipeline; as part of the TEPPS project – a project called “Second Life” – a kind of virtual world where you create yourself as an avatar that can fly around, meet up in different places and talk to each other ( including fb friends) etc. Simply breathtaking. GO, GRANT!!

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