About the presenter: Sarah (Dowgiallo) D'Agostino is proud to be a person who stutters. She grew up the oldest of six children in Dearborn, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1999 with an accounting degree. She has received many forms of stuttering therapy but she attributes much of her positive attitude, confidence and comfortable level of fluency to the National Stuttering Association. She is co-leader of an NSA youth support group and formerly led the local adult chapter. Now married with two daughters, Sarah works from home. She uses her education and life skills acquired to consult small businesses and works as family programs administrator and webmaster for the NSA.
About the presenter: Maria Witte isn't a person who lets her stuttering stop her from pursuing her dreams in life. She has been an active member of the National Stuttering Association for more than seven years and takes great pride in being a role model for younger members of the group who are beginning their journey into adulthood. Maria is a former co-leader of the Royal Oak, Michigan Beaumont Support Group, as well as a support person for the executive board. Professionally, Maria holds two master's degrees, one in organizational communication, and one in human resources management. Maria presently works as a labor relations representative for Ford Motor Company. Maria is married and has one child.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2009.

Face the Fear: Trials and Tribulations of Public Speaking

by Sarah (Dowgiallo) D'Agostino and Maria (Garza) Witte
from Michigan, USA

To speak in front of an audience can be terrifying even for people who don't stutter. It can also be thrilling and empowering. A person who stutters might prepare and execute a public presentation in a slightly different way than a fluent person. The following twenty minute video will suggest creative ways to approach a public speaking situation. The video shows part of a workshop held at the National Stuttering Association's 2005 conference in Chicago. The presenters, Sarah and Maria both stutter but neither of them shy away from public speaking. The 45 minute workshop included a review the "top eleven" list - a great guideline for public speaking. Each item states a general public speaking tip as well as a "stuttering spin" on that tip. After the list was reviewed, a group activity was organized using random objects which were found lying around a basement, garage, or office. The audience split into groups where each group had to present an "object" as an infomercial product and proclaim that it is the next great cure for stuttering. They had to name their product, demonstrate how it works and determine how much it costs. The activity is usually gets people laughing and is a lot of fun. This presentation provides a great outline to develop your own public speaking presentation to a group along with an interactive group activity.

Face the Fear: Trials and Tribulations of Public Speaking Movie

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the authors before October 22, 2009.

SUBMITTED: September 7, 2009
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