How Bad Do You Stutter?

[ Contents | Search | Next | Previous | Up ]

Re: Stuttering Good

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 09 Oct 2007
Time: 11:11:54 -0500
Remote Name:


Hi Janet, Thanks for your kind words. ..... I'm not familiar with that particular research project but it does make sense. People are NOT put off by non-struggled disfluencies nearly as much as we imagine they are. I remember seeing Ellen DeGeneres on the Jay Leno show once and was blown away by how disfluent she was! It wasn't stuttering by any means, but she was stumbling over so many words I lost count. But she's a WONDERFUL conversationalist! Just listening to her is amazing. Her speech pattern that night was exactly like she was talking to you over a beer some day. It was totally spontaneous speech and extremely natural sounding. Disfluencies? Ha! Who cares? ..... On the other hand I know some "recovered" stutterers who are VERY fluent, but somehow you can sense they are definitely TRYING to be fluent. They sound okay, of course, but given a choice of listening to them or listening to Ellen DeGeneres, I'd take Ellen any day! So bottom line, yes, I believe that research. ..... But that feeling of trying to be fluent in order to "fit in" is SOOO ingrained in lots of stutterers that it's nearly impossible to convince them otherwise. Actually that desire to "fit in" is extremely ingrained in almost everyone, not just stutterers. It really seems to be an inherent part of the human condition. ..... Another aspect of this problem is that, yes indeed, sometimes we are NOT aware of what we are doing that truly IS distracting to our listeners. I know a girl who is/was a fairly severe stutterer who had lots of secondaries, head jerks, eye blinks, the whole nine yards. One year she attended SSMP (which I think is a very good program) and they took a videotape of her "before" the course began. She told me that she looked at that tape was amazed. "I didn't know I was doing all that!" Really? I was - and still am - astonished at how she couldn't have known that! ..... I think that I'm totally aware of what I'm doing, but when I listen to myself on a telephone answering machine, I often ask myself, "Do I REALLY sound like that?" Well yes I do. But if other people accept it, that's okay. It can't be THAT bad. Get over it Russ! ..... The REAL professional speakers I know use video recordings of their presentations all the time to refine the finest details of their talks. They insist that's one of the most powerful tools they have. You GOTTA see yourself as others see you. They're right of course, but it's still slightly painful for me to see myself speaking. Practicing what you preach isn't always easy. ..... So I think it all depends on what your own goals are. Amazingly enough it's easier to please other people than to please yourself! If your goal is to please yourself, you run the definite risk of driving yourself crazy. Life is funny that way, isn't it? ..... We miss you on Stutt-L, Janet! ..... Take care! ..... Russ

Last changed: 10/22/07