How Bad Do You Stutter?

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Re: Popular!

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 19 Oct 2007
Time: 11:05:58 -0500
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Hello Sotheary, Thanks for reading my article and for your kind words. Popular? Ha, ha, ha! Of course beautiful girls are always attracted to handsome guys! Ha, ha, ha! .... You asked, "... what does stuttering struggle-free look (sound) like? ..." One of these days we're gonna have good - and cheap and easy - video conferencing and you can see (hear) for yourself. But for now a typed answer is the best I can do. It's good COMMUNICATION with easy disfluencies embedded in it. Good communication involves a LOT more than fluent speech. It involves things like smiles, good facial expressions, good eye contact, firm handshakes, comfortable gestures, and at-ease presentations. The disfluencies are certainly there, but there are no distracting head jerks, foot stompings, eye blinks, etc. It's easy stuttering with non-struggled r-r-r-repetitions and b------blocks that really don't d-d-d-d-distract from what you are t-t-t-trying to s-s-s-s-say. Does that make sense? ..... I gave two presentations to stuttering classes at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth yesterday and did just that. I used humor and told personal stories and generally COMMUNICATED with my audience. Of course I stuttered. That's what the classes were all about. But my stuttering was easy and relaxed. And we had a blast! It was a lot of fun for everyone. A bunch of grad students even joined the professor and me for lunch after the classes. What a delightful time! <smile> ..... You also asked, "Is there a noticeable difference to your audience, or is just mostly internal?" It's really both. Of course they recognized that I stutter. How could they not? But my stuttering didn't get in the way of what I was telling them, my message. And as I was able to say what I wanted to say, that felt good (internally) too. I never avoided words or used secondaries to break blocks. It was simply easy stuttered speech. ..... It really is amazing (and it took me forever to really learn this) that people tend to filter out easy stutters. Of course they hear it, but the message gets through to the brain virtually undisturbed by the disfluencies involved. If you ask them if they heard me stuttering, they'd almost have to think back... "Ah... yes, I guess... yeah, he stuttered... but it didn't matter. I enjoyed his presentation." THAT'S good communication when you can do that! The message is what counts, not the disfluencies. .... A prime example of this was 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 was 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? She's great! ..... Does that answer your questions? I hope so. I'm gonna work on some sort of an audio or video feed for next year. That's a cool idea! .... I wish you the best! ..... Russ

Last changed: 10/22/07