Make Room For The Stuttering


Toastmasters has been an incredibly helpful experience for me. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving communication and leadership skills. Many people fear public speaking, not just those of us who stutter. Toastmasters helps us gain the confidence needed to let our voices be heard, in our own way. In seven years, I have held three club leadership positions. I have been Treasurer, Vice President of Education, and President of my chapter. I was an Area Governor and completed the Toastmasters High Performance Leadership Project.

I have been involved in  mentoring, and have had the privilege of seeing a person I am mentoring find her way and her voice. I was a member of a second club for Advanced Toastmasters, which helped me come out of my comfort zone even more. I have earned my ACG in August 2010, and along with my CL. I received the highest designation in Toastmasters – Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) in September 2012.

My biggest challenge has been to keep within Toastmaster time frames. My stuttering often manifests itself in prolongations and hesitations, which sometimes makes it impossible to stick to 5-7 minutes. I am OK with that, as I am still reveling in the magic of having found my voice.  I have challenged myself to enter several Toastmaster speech contests and have helped to facilitate several speech contests for other clubs and areas.

Toastmasters and acceptance of stuttering has made a huge difference in my life. If you haven’t tried it, come and visit a club. You will find a supportive atmosphere with people who share the same goals, stuttering or not.  (Updated 9/8/2021)

5 Responses to "Toastmasters"

I actually attended a toastmasters meeting once and never went back as I thought this is no place for people who stutter.

I see where this has helped you a lot as you seem so confident in your speech deliveries that even though you stutter on some words, it does not distract from your speech.

I should try it again

I heard of Toastmaster and few of my friends even insisted, but ignored them as I’m PWS and was scared internally to even think of speaking in public. After this article I should find Toastmasters Club in Calgary and try to join for leadership skill development. Thanks for this article. Manan

I will try the next month. Do you have any advice for my first time? It’s nice to see there are people like you. I will do also my best.

[…] an introductory meeting next week. I’ve seen a lot of people who stutter mention Toastmasters. Particularly Pam. I wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to join here in […]

I have no fear of speaking in public. I left my last Toastmasters club because the other members were showing signs of “helping” me. For example, not including me in Table Topics, not asking me to share when visitors came, etc. I left that crap in high school.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. 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 2022.
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