Make Room For The Stuttering

Embracing Our Uniqueness

Posted on: June 29, 2014

I’ve been working on a talk I will give at a workshop this week at the annual NSA conference. It’s about being memorable and using what makes us different as an asset.

I’ve talked about this before on this blog – the idea that stuttering makes us memorable. My talk for the workshop centers on the premise that if we have something that makes us stand out, why not use it to our advantage?

Stuttering is unique. It applies to only 1% of the population. It makes us different. We stand out because of it. Is that a bad thing?

I remember when my sister told me about six years ago that she was jealous that I stuttered and she didn’t. I had to really wrap my brain around that at the time.

But it makes sense. In today’s world, we need to be remembered in order to get ahead.

Why not use what makes us unique? What do you think?



3 Responses to "Embracing Our Uniqueness"

This is actually something I really, really struggled with after doing speech therapy (which left me effectively fluent for a few years before slowly wearing off). Ever since I was a kid I knew that I was extremely memorable and I knew exactly what people would remember me for; going from that to no longer knowing what first impression I was making or whether people would remember me really left me floundering. Starting to stutter more when the therapy broke down was weirdly comforting and familiar – if not very pleasant in the actual situation!

As you say, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having something that sets you out from the crowd and makes you stick in people’s minds can be advantageous! Why not use it? And I think there’s ways of using the stutter to still make an overall positive impression, if you act confident about it and are possibly willing to field a few questions (although I haven’t quite figured out how to get people to ask them – even bringing up the stutter doesn’t seem to work, people insist on having it be the elephant in the room).

Yes, I agree totally. Embracing our uniqueness which includes stuttering but also so much more. I hope you post your NSA talk on the web site.

Hi Matt – thanks so much for the great feedback. I have been trying to upload the video of my talk to YouTube since yesterday and it’s being stubborn. I do plan to post the talk as soon as I am able.

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