Below are some ideas that may help others in preparing to present to groups about stuttering. If you have other ideas or suggestions, please email Judy Kuster
Kathleen (Kelly) Politi wrote: "I present to school district staff on a weekly basis. About 3 years ago, I received a copy of "Being a Good Listener"...a pamphlet put out by NSA for people who want more information on stuttering. As people enter the room, I am at the door to hand them a copy of the pamphlet and introduce myself (great practice with the name thing!). Then, at the start of my presentations, I say something like this: "You're probably wondering why you have a pamphlet on stuttering! This talk is about autism! Well, you got this because of me. For those of you who did not get a chance to read it, when I have a block, the best thing for you to do is be patient. Let me know through your non-verbal language that it doesn't bother you. Try not to look away. As time goes on, the blocks will be less and less. The more comfortable you are with it, the more comfortable I am.....which in turn makes me more relaxed and fluent." It's REALLY worked! I'm known throughout the school district and have been called a "legend". Plus, what better way to get the pamphlet out to teachers, administrators, counselors, therapists, and support personnel!
Jim McClure wrote: I have been speaking to groups of SLPs and speech path students about stuttering for years and recommend the experience highly as public speaking "training wheels." Speaking to groups about stuttering eventually gave me confidence to tackle other speaking opportunities having nothing to do with stuttering. When I speak to a group of SLPs, my standard "ice-breaker" opener goes something like this:
"This is a great speaking opportunity for a person who stutters. For one thing, you already know that I stutter: That's why you invited me to speak. So that frees me from any inclination I may feel to try to hide my stuttering or make excuses for the way I talk. I also know that as SLPs, you have been trained to be kind to people with speech disorders.
"This adds up to a win-win situation for me as a public speaker --