Make Room For The Stuttering

Speed Networking And Stuttering

Posted on: December 8, 2012

Tried something totally outside of my comfort zone this week. I attended a professional networking group meeting, where the theme was “speed networking.” I was apprehensive before the meeting, as I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it involved talking and meeting people, quickly.

Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by the organizer, who quickly filled me in on how it works.

People sit across from each other at a long table, and in 2 minutes (one minute each) you and the person directly across from you tell as much as you can about your self and your business. You also exchange business cards.

Then one side of the table moves down a seat so you are talking to the next person.

It’s designed so that you can meet 25 or 30 people in 90 minutes, and the format “forces” you to talk, so that you can’t hang back in a corner and not participate. It’s actually quite a great idea, once you get past the nerves.

I was worried that this would be a nightmare for me, as a person who stutters. Talking fast to strangers is not anything I have “always wanted to do.”

But it wasn’t a nightmare – it went just fine. Once I chatted with the first person, I felt comfortable and confident. Did I stutter? Yep, throughout, but nobody seemed to notice or care.

This was a valuable event for me. What do you think? Could you be comfortable at this type of networking event? Share your thoughts.

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3 Responses to "Speed Networking And Stuttering"

Hey Pam, that does sound kind of daunting with the time limit and all. What a great challenge! Did you feel the need to use any techniques like pseudostuttering or disclosure or anything? Just wonderng if you did anything specific to help you with your nerves. Thanks!

Cait

Hey Cait,
When I was aware that I was stuttering, I did disclose to a few of the people. With most, though, I didn’t intentionally use any techniques and just kept pressing forward. I think the pressure of the situation, and having to talk a little louder, because of the din created by all the pairs talking, actually helped my fluency.
I always find I am more fluent when I have to “project” my voice (like when I give a speech at Toastmasters.)
Maybe that was happening and I wasn’t fully aware of it. Projecting my voice may indeed be one of my techniques 🙂
Thanks for checking in with your comment.
Pam

these kinds of meetings can be a challenge to many people but i believe by practice people can get used to them, thanks for your post

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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.