I enlist Franky Banky’s help to show how you can live the life you want in spite of your stuttering.
Hi, my name is Daniele Rossi and I’m a cartoonist who stutters. I know that stuttering can make speaking situations embarrassing so Franky Banky here will help me demonstrate four ways to living the life that you want in spite of your stuttering.
Item number one: Tell people that you stutter
Many people don’t know what stuttering is when they see or hear it. Our problem, in fact, isn’t stuttering. It’s the lack of stuttering awareness in the world. And we are the only ones who can spread awareness. Having a sense of humour always helps helps, too, as it creates a friendlier connection. Also, when you tell someone that you stutter, you also put the two of you at ease. That person knows what’s going on and you know that you could be at ease stuttering openly because that person knows what’s going on as well. All this can seem scary at first but after giving it a try for only a few times, it won’t feel scary anymore.
Item number two: Practice keeping natural eye contact
I know it can be hard to keep eye contact as you’re stuttering and it can feel safe to look away, but making eye contact creates a connection with the person who you are speaking to. Like item number one, making eye contact may seem scary at first but after giving it a try for only a few times, it won’t feel scary anymore.
Item number three: Get out of your stuttering comfort zone as often as possible
Try to stutter openly in different speaking situations. For example, asking a stranger for the time, instead of sending a text message to someone, make a phone call; and ordering food without pointing at a menu (I’ve done that myself many, many times!).
I know all this sounds scary just like the other two items, but the more you expose yourself to anything in life that you fear, the less scared that you will become – even to the point of giving a presentation in front of a group! This also happened to me. If I can do it, you can do it, too. Remember, stuttering is never the issue. The issue is the lack of awareness. Also, keep in mind that it’s not how you say, it’s what you say that is important.
And finally, the fourth item: Hang out with others who stutter
You will feel better hanging out with others who understand exactly what you have been going through. You can also share tips and celebrate each step out of your comfort zone. And soon stuttering won’t feel so bad as before. You can meet other people who stutter online all across social media networks and on forums like Stutter Social at stuttersocial.com.
You can also meet people who stutter offline at stuttering support groups in your area and stuttering conferences all around the world. I can attest that the global stuttering community is made up of an awesome, friendly, and very helpful bunch of people!
- Tell people that you stutter and do your part in spreading stuttering awareness;
- Practice making natural eye contact;
- Make frequent trips out of your comfort zone (it’s the only way you will grow); and
- Hang out with others who stutter because life is easier when you spend time with people who share the same experiences that are unique to those of us who stutter.
And that’s it! More tips are available on my website at stutteringiscool.com. May your stuttering always be with confidence.
End of transcript. Originally published for the 2019 ISAD Online Conference.