Make Room For The Stuttering

5 Ways To Disclose Your Stuttering

Posted on: November 15, 2012

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.

7 Responses to "5 Ways To Disclose Your Stuttering"

first class! i have mentioned my stammer as a strength in every job interview and it has worked so well in my favour….my boss said to me the other day he was very proud of me for what i am doing…job done!!

also point four….excellent.

it is all about taking on our stammer and making it part of our ‘make up’
own your stammer do not let it own you!!


I also really like how you mentioned stating stuttering as an asset in a job interview – such a great way to see it! I think that it would also communicate a lot to the person interviewing you because it would show this you can see what others might see as a negative trait into something positive.

I like how you address someone laughing at your stutter. Good approach, I think.

For those of us who stutter more noticeably we might want to try and start off with some good voluntary stuttering. You take charge and stutter in a controled and confident manner. Helps to get over the fear of stuttering and can help show your listener that you are comfortable with your stuttering.

I love it! When I have an rough day while I’m teaching, I find it’s best to just tell people that I’m having a bad stuttering day. I try to remind myself that people are typically kind and understanding!

Wow- the interview tip is genius!

Thanks very much for the tips Pam.

I’d also find it really helpful to hear how other people deal with waiters in restaurants/cafes, if they finish off their sentences while ordering etc?

I really struggle with this one, as sometimes the interactions in restaurants/cafes are so quick, perhaps because the waiter is rushing/busy, that I feel I shouldn’t start explaining I have a stutter. I somehow feel like it’s not worth bringing it up in that situation, but then often come away feeling frustrated and annoyed with myself for not honouring my feelings and letting the waiter know their finishing my sentences isn’t helpful, and the waiter for interrupting me.

Would really appreciate hearing how others deal with this situation.


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