Make Room For The Stuttering

Name Shame

Posted on: June 8, 2015

Last week, I had the opportunity to emcee an awards event at my school. I call it an opportunity because I try to seize every chance I get to do public speaking. I enjoy it, while many of my fluent colleagues hate it and avoid it all costs. My co-workers were glad that I was willing to do it.

I have had years of experience with public speaking, through my association with Toastmasters and no longer dread it like I once did when I was really covert and afraid to stutter openly. But I still get a little anxious, like anyone would. My adrenaline gets flowing because like anyone, I want to do the best that I can at events like these.

As a stutterer, my biggest challenge is reading names aloud and introducing people. That was to be my primary role as emcee at the awards event – introducing each person and keeping the ceremony moving and flowing.

I was anxious about saying people’s names – as I knew I would stutter on them. And stutter I did. Some with light, easy repetitions, a couple with blocks.

No one seemed to care, as the event was about celebrating success and I was just a cog in the wheel to make sure everything went smoothly. The people whose names I was calling were getting certificates of appreciation – that’s what they focused on.

But it bothered me. It always does when it comes to names. I feel getting a person’s name right is important. Our name is our identity and it’s important. I feel bad when I stutter on a name and it “doesn’t come out right.” I feel like pronouncing someone’s name correctly is a show of respect.

I always worry about this – perhaps needlessly, as like I said, no one seemed to be bothered by it except me. It’s important to me that people get my name right, so I think I should get their’s right too.

What about you? Do you find it difficult with people’s names? Just your own name? Do you place importance on getting someone’s name right?

3 Responses to "Name Shame"

Hi Pam, I agree – I think its very important to get a person’s name right. It bothers me when people call me Susan which I agree isn’t a hundred miles apart from Suzanne but its not my name and I think to show someone respect the least you can do is try and remember their name and not a derivative of it! Saying that, I have too made mistakes with peoples names but like you, I generally make a point of trying to get their name right and I think people like that. It sounds like to make that you were doing just that at the awards ceremony – you were doing a great job of getting people’s names right, maybe they all didn’t ‘flow out’ as smoothly as you would have liked but the most important thing is, I believe, that you made a point of remembering them and their names – fluently or not! You were brilliant to do that as I think that was a huge challenge and one I would have found really challenging too.

Hello my name is Carlos, I am a severe stutterer who live in Spain, I have a blog that is the most visited in speaking, in my blog I teach free a very effective method for stuttering, my blog is in Spanish need translator Google Chrome , put a link to my blog

Thanks ……

I can really relate to how you must have felt while saying people’s names. I usually stutter badly while introducing people because I too feel that a person’s name has a lot of worth and that it deserves respect. But I think that stuttering on a person’s name doesn’t have to mean that you are disrespecting them. It’s not like you’re intentionally saying their name in a “strange” way. So I’ve started to accept that it doesn’t matter if I stutter while introducing people because at the end of the day, I know and they know that I respect them and that my stutter is not a way to make fun of them.

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