Make Room For The Stuttering

Speaking Goals for 2017

Posted on: January 17, 2017

How many of you have speech or speaking goals for 2017? I usually don’t set speech goals for myself, because I tell myself I am comfortable with, and accepting of, my speech.

However, I have given this a lot of thought and there are some things I’d like to work on in the coming year. Since I finished Toastmasters and really don’t have a desire to go back anymore, I find I don’t have as many opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone. I miss those monthly opportunities to speak regularly but I was tiring of the structure of Toastmasters.

Don’t get me wrong! Toastmasters was one of the best things I ever did for myself as a person who stutters. I found courage and confidence I didn’t know I had. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for speaking challenges. I just found that 7 years of bi-weekly meetings was enough. I do miss the people though.

Some of you may recall that I tried improv in 2016 for the first time ever and found that I really liked it. That was a big time push out of my comfort zone. I liked the “in the moment” spontaneity of improv and being to able to create something out of nothing just by taking a chance and thinking on your feet.

In 2017, I really want to take a second level improv class and learn more about being comfortable with spontaneity. I don’t want my stuttering to hold me back from taking creative chances with speech. So far, a second level hasn’t come up yet, but I will keep my eye out and watch for it.

I have a big speaking challenge coming up in April. I submitted a proposal and was approved to speak at the New York State Speech Language and Hearing annual conference. I will be giving a two hour workshop on “Reclaiming Her Space: From Covert to Overt Stuttering.” I am really excited about this but anxious at the same time. My perfectionist self really wants me to be perfect for this audience of SLPs and SLP students.

I know it’s not realistic to have expectations like that for this talk. I can only tell my story as best as I can and hopefully relay important information to the audience that will help them in some aspect of their work with people who stutter.

I also want to find some other speaking challenge or goal for the year. Does anyone have any ideas? I’d love your feedback.

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3 Responses to "Speaking Goals for 2017"

So you are a perfectionist! Me too! I have come to realise that is our problem. Discovering the slp Mort Cooper with his take on perfectionism and stuttering took a weight of my shoulders. He contends that pws believe they have to speak perfectly when in actual fact everyone has disfluencies when they speak. The more I listened the more I understood. So now I embrace and enjoy any hesitations, prolongations or repetitions I may have. That is my suggestion. Kind Regards Steve Clarkson

I should try voluntary stuttering on those days when I feel that my stuttering impedes with communication, and/or that I have poor eye contact. More easily said that done …

Comment of a therapist: stuttering is a problem of pausing for respiration – you have to contrate of the aspects of letting getting the air out after a phrase – of observation the autonomous insiration of the body before the continuation of speaking – begin speaking gently into the airflow. Speaking is bodily work, which needs assistance of unrestricted airflow. Prepairing exercice; speak voiceless only with precise aticulation – you will see, there is no stopping. Voice is secondary to the Body work in speaking.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2016. 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 2016.