5 Ways To Disclose Your Stuttering
Posted November 15, 2012on:
1. If you are meeting someone new for the first time, and you are engaging in small talk that leads to sharing a little about yourself, consider mentioning that you stutter. An easy way is to say something like, “One of the really unique things about me is I stutter. If you don’t know much about stuttering, ask me, because I’m an expert.”
2. If you are doing a small or large group presentation to people you don’t know well, consider disclosing your stutter early on in your talk. Do it in such a way that you are very confident and matter-of-fact. Let people know that you are comfortable with it. You might say, “Oh, by the way, I stutter, so you may hear some repetitions or pauses. It’s nothing to worry about. I’m OK with my stuttering and I hope you will be too.”
3. Use humor. Try not to take yourself too seriously. If you find yourself talking with someone and you’re self-conscious of a stuttering moment, take some of the pressure off yourself. Consider saying something like, “I hate when that happens. My stuttering seems to be on autopilot today!” And then laugh! If your listener sees that you are comfortable enough to use humor, they will take the cue from you to be a comfortable listener. It’s also a good way to lessen any anxiety you may be feeling.
4. If someone makes fun of you – laughs, mimics, or says something hurtful – feel the “pain” for a moment and then say something. You might try, “maybe you didn’t realize it, but I stutter. This is how I talk. I didn’t like what you just said. Please don’t say it again.” Most people will feel bad and apologize. I always feel a little guilty when that happens, as I don’t purposely want to embarrass someone. But I find that many people really respect the courage it takes to address the fact that we were offended by their teasing or hurtful remark.
5. In a job interview, which most people who stutter think is highly stressful, consider mentioning stuttering as a strength. Yes, a strength! You can say, “I stutter, and because of that, I am an excellent listener, am always well prepared for any speaking engagement and I’m very compassionate, all valuable qualities in today’s workplace.”
Do you have any other ideas as to how to disclose your stuttering? Please share them – I’d love to hear your thoughts.