If you're a person who stutters, and you want to know how to be successful in your life - this post is for you.
I've been to the NSA (National Stuttering Association) yearly conference in Atlanta, Georgia, recently. This year it was a combined conference with International Stuttering Association annual conference. I absolutely loved it; it was a great experience. There were more than 800 people.
You meet people who stutter in the morning during breakfast, at lunch, in the bar in the evening, at the workshops, in the lobby - everywhere. You get to know people from all walks of life, and you make a lot of friends.
There were all sorts of different workshops at the conference: in the field of research, in the field of therapies and how to choose an SLP, and a variety of other workshops related to stuttering and how to deal with it.
But a particular interest of the attendees, myself included, was around the workshops made by people who reached a certain level of success in their life despite stuttering. Those were different kinds of success, ranging from being a partner in an international business consulting firm to successfully performing in the entertainment industry. And I noticed that all those people had basically two core things in common.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/opd--6tdCNU
The first thing about the successful people who stuttered was... I would call it "they moved forward."
1) They Moved Forward
They didn't think like, "OK, first I need to be fluent and then I'll move forward in my life." Nope. They started moving in spite of their stuttering.
They found a way to face their fears, their desire to hide the impediment, they're taking responsibility for their lives, and that's something we tend to avoid. They gave us an example how we can communicate excellently even stuttering.
Most people are afraid of public speaking. We all are at least a bit anxious about getting on stage and speaking in front of an audience. And that's exactly what they did at the conference. And they did it in a very engaging way. They were heroes, and they inspired us to be more active in our lives too.
The second thing about successful people who stuttered: they improved their speaking.
2) They Improved Speaking
None of them was fluent. They all had some sort of impediments. But they all went through either therapy, or treatment, or used some technique, or some tricks; they used something that helped them improve their speaking skills so that they could communicate effectively.
And it was not that they had mild stuttering. It was that they improved. They managed to find a way to better understanding how their speaking works.
Each of us perceives the process of speaking in a very individual way. But there's some general logic behind it. I'm not saying there's a uniform set of rules or exercises that work for everyone. In fact, each of us has a unique way of improving. There're many ways, many doors leading to the same place of improvement. And it seems that we need to keep knocking on these doors until we find ours.
So to sum up. Those successful people who stuttered that I met at the conference: 1) moved forward and 2) improved their speaking.
And I put "moving forward" as point number 1 because to get to some therapy or technique, to get to a better understanding of your speaking you need to make a step and open up for it, you need to face some uncertainty and fear and nevertheless go for it.
Join the discussion. Say what comes to your mind. Please leave a comment - would love to know what you think!